Can an eye doctor detect diabetes?

There are an estimated 7.3 million diabetics that are undiagnosed in the United States today. Are you one of them?

There’s a chance your doctor turns it up in a regular health checkup. But you might be surprised to find out that your eye doctor might be able to tell as well. If you have a good optometrist, they can see signs of diabetes even inside the eye.

Signs of diabetes eye doctors can see

An eye doctor will usually conduct either a dilated eye exam or an Octomap imaging scan for glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal tears. These are common eye conditions that are easily detected by looking at the back of the eye.

But while they’re conducting that examination, they can see signs of diabetes as well.

Diabetes affects the integrity of small blood vessels, like the capillaries that line the back of the eye. If blood sugar levels stay high for a long period of time, it can damage the blood vessels in the back of the eye. They start leaking blood and fluid into the retina, and an examination of the retina will reveal the problem.

If there’s a significant change in glasses prescription it can also be a sign of diabetes. This diabetic change in vision is common, but if it’s not caught by a doctor or the patient isn’t getting regular health checkups it might go unnoticed.

An optometrist can sometimes see these symptoms and warn a person that they have diabetes—if they know what they’re looking at. Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataracts. That damage can even add up to blindness over time.

Finding diabetes early

If you care about your health you should be getting checkups regularly, and those may turn up signs of diabetes. But if you don’t find out from your regular doctor there’s a chance you may find out from your eye doctor. Optometry may not see like the most likely discipline to turn up evidence of diabetes, but it’s a real possibility if your eye doctor knows what they’re doing.

Here at Oklahoma City Vision, we know what we’re doing. We know the ins and outs of both healthy and diseased eyes, and with our cutting-edge diagnostic equipment we can tell you about issues you might not have even known you had. Give us a call or swing by today and find out what makes us Oklahoma City’s leading optometrist.