End of year check-ups when you have diabetes

annual doctor visit check-up diabetes managment foot care Nov 29, 2022

Diabetes is like high blood pressure, silent until there is damage leading to symptoms. These symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Diabetes affects all parts of your body but you don’t always know it until damage has been done. This is why it is important to get regular check-ups. These additional checkups are above and beyond the regular doctor visits you have to check your blood sugar, A1c and medication checks.

I talked about getting your hearing, oral health and balance checked. Here are a few more.

Let's start with your vision. Get a dilated eye exam every year. This is so important because problems can be caught sooner and treated. Optometrists, especially those trained in diabetes, can look into your eyes and see if they are healthy and if not, what the problem is. Some people are diagnosed with diabetes for the first time because of their eye exam.

Your eye doctor will be checking for glaucoma which is caused by damage to your optic nerve. It leads to irreversible blindness. It is more common in people with diabetes. There could be no symptoms or things like headaches, eye pain or blurred vision.

She/he will look for cataracts as well. These usually come with age but are more common and occur earlier in people with diabetes. Symptoms are blurred or hazy vision and halos around lights, especially at night. Treatment is cataract surgery.

She/he will also be looking closely at your retina. This thin tissue contains all the elements you need to see, including sending electrical impulses via your optic nerve to your brain which creates the images you see. Macular edema and retinopathy occur because of damage to the retina from diabetes. In macular edema, the tiny blood vessels in your retina are damaged and leak fluid that builds up and causes swelling. This swelling distorts your vision and could lead to permanent vision loss. Symptoms include blurry, distorted or wavy central vision.

Retinopathy, like these other problems, is due to high levels of blood sugar that damage those tiny blood vessels in your retina. This is more common and serious. There are often no symptoms. But, blurred vision, distorted vision, impaired color perception, seeing floaters or spots or vision loss is common.

The important thing is to get a dilated eye exam every year or more if recommended by your doctor. Often there are no symptoms until so much damage is done, it may be irreversible.

In addition to your annual dilated eye exam, pay attention to your blood sugar levels and keep them in a good range.

Dr Elaine


Link to my 30 Day guide: https://www.drelainestewart.com/30-day-guide

Link to schedule a free 30 min call with me: https://www.drelainestewart.com/schedule

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


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