Diabetic Eye Exams to Protect Vision

Patients with Diabetes Can Rely on Glenn K. Davis, II, MD

Glenn K. Davis, II, MD is proud to offer diabetic eye exams to protect vision. Many people understand diabetes as a ‘blood sugar disease.’ Those who have diabetes, however, soon realize they must take several health precautions daily and regularly. Our offices in Pulaski and Galax can help make caring for your vision a little easier.

Diabetes, as a disease, can affect parts of the body significantly. It affects important blood vessels and organs throughout the body. We share your concern, so we focus on ways to protect your eyes and vision. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), diabetic eye exams are important for early detection.

This month, we’ll review what takes place during a diabetic eye exam. Then, we’ll look into the main diabetic eye diseases. We want all of our friends and neighbors to continue seeing clearly.

Working Together on Diabetic Eye Health

Remember, having diabetes can cause vision problems even if you do not have a disease. When blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s lens and cause blurry vision. Vision returns to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. For this reason, it is important that your blood sugar is under control. Have stable blood sugar for at least a week before getting your eyeglasses prescription checked. This ensures that you receive the right prescription.

Follow your primary care physician’s diet and exercise plan for managing your diabetes. If you have not had an eye exam with an ophthalmologist recently, schedule one now. Be sure to never skip the recommended follow-up exams. Together, we can help maintain your healthy vision while helping you manage the other aspects of diabetes.

What to Expect During a Diabetic Exam

As with regular eye exams, diabetic eye exams do not take much time. The eye doctor begins by dilating the eyes, which helps them check for abnormal blood vessels. The doctor may notice any swelling, retinal detachment, or other problems. They will also conduct a regular eye exam and check your prescription. You can expect the doctor to look for signs of glaucoma or cataracts during the exam.

While the eyes are dilated, your eye doctor will sometimes take pictures of the area behind the eyes. This allows them to check on the blood vessels and other parts of the eye. Your eyes will be sensitive, so be sure to have sunglasses or have someone else drive you home.

Types of Diabetic Eye Diseases

We mentioned the eye doctor will check for some main diabetic eye diseases. The following problems can all result from diabetes. All can have a significant impact on your vision and can require treatment.

Diabetic retinopathy

This is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye.

Diabetic macular edema

A build-up of fluid in the macula causes it to swell, causing distorted vison.


Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss, caused by a clouding of the lens.


Glaucoma is a group of diseases that causes damage to the optic nerve.

Cataracts and glaucoma are not only caused by diabetes; anyone can develop these diseases. Having diabetes does increase the likelihood of cataracts or glaucoma affecting the eyes. As mentioned, regular diabetic eye exams help us find signs of these diseases and other potential eye problems earlier.

An Ounce of Prevention

There is an old saying, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Taking some time to catch problems early can be an effective way to avoid disease from becoming ‘critical.’ Diabetes management consists of several aspects that you can do to help to improve your quality of life.

Knowing your family history is a good beginning. Learning all you can about managing the disease can include controlling blood pressure and taking the right medication. For eye care, regular diabetic eye exams and follow-up appointments can help manage any vision changes. We prefer catching problems early to avoid more invasive treatment, such as surgery.

Recapping the Benefits of Diabetic Eye Exams and More

Diabetic eye exams are important for you and those you love who have diabetes. They can be a critical first step to early detection. Discovering changes early can lead to prompt treatment.

Glenn K. Davis, II, MD is here for patients in Pulaski and Galax who would like to schedule diabetic eye exams. Bring any vision-related concerns to our attention, and let us work with you to check for major diabetic eye diseases. We can review early treatment and other options to help protect your vision.

For excellence in eye care, schedule your appointment with Glenn K. Davis, II, M.D., today. Call our offices in Pulaski, (540) 980-1965, or Galax, (276) 236-8307, and stay in touch by liking us on Facebook. Be sure to revisit our blog for future updates and more on diabetic eye exams.