Comprehensive eye exams are important for many reasons. Along with eye-related concerns, eye doctors may be able to detect other health issues during a comprehensive eye exam.
Can you detect diabetes through an eye exam?
“The answer is yes, yes you can,” said VSP network eye doctor Meghan Riegel, OD.
According to Dr. Riegel, diabetes affects the blood vessels, and the back of the eye is the only place in the body where an eye doctor can directly view the blood vessels.
“If there’s a problem happening, your eye doctor is sometimes the first to detect that change,” Dr. Riegel explained. “This is why it’s so important you make sure to get your annual eye exam.”
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 30.3 million people have diabetes in the U.S., however, 7.2 million people go on undiagnosed.
It’s especially crucial for people with diabetes to get their eyes examined regularly, as they can develop diabetic retinopathy, a condition where the blood vessels in your retina become damaged.
Often the early stages of diabetic retinopathy have no noticeable symptoms, so Dr. Riegel recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive eye exam once a year. According to the CDC, about 90 percent of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented, but early detection is key.’
Haven’t had your eye exam yet this year? Find your VSP network eye doctor at vsp.com. Choose one who participates in the Premier Program to get the most out of your benefits. If you’re already a VSP member, you can access savings and resources for diabetes-related services.