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Q: How often should someone with diabetes have an eye examination?

Posted November 20, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: A yearly dilated eye exam is recommended for anyone who is diabetic, and if there are complications related to diabetes, possibly even more frequently. Even if one isn’t diabetic, eye exams can help aid in diagnosing diabetes, as many patients come to their eye doctor with various vision complaints that can be due to uncontrolled blood sugar. Diabetes can cause variable blurry vision, faster cataract progression, various types of glaucoma and possibly blindness. Patients who are found to have diabetes-related vision issues are referred to their primary care physician for testing and diagnosis if they have not be diagnosed previously. If they are currently diabetic, their eye doctor will communicate with their doctor to advise them that there have some complications. Depending on the severity of those complications, one may be referred to an ophthalmologist for further treatment of any eye-related issues. November is National Diabetes Month, so raising awareness about prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications is important. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in U.S. adults age 20 – 74. Not only should you have your eyes examined yearly as a preventative or monitoring tool, but eating healthy, exercising, and managing one’s weight are all important in helping to prevent and manage diabetes and its complications

Information provided by Dr. Erik Romsdahl, Child and Family Vision Center, 2525 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 109, Ankeny, 964-7541.

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