Diabetes can have a profound effect on your vision. The most serious damage that diabetes can inflict on the eye is when there is a leakage of fluid in the retina at the back of the eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy (disease of the retina causes by diabetes). The Australian Health Insurance Commission provides a Medicare rebate for examination of your vision by your optometrist every year and at Vision Excellence, our optometrist will carefully check the retina of your eyes in our Norwest practice on a yearly basis for any sign of diabetic retinopathy.
The abnormal changes in the retina that occur as a result of diabetes include haemorrhages (leakage of blood), neovascularisation (formation of new, leaky blood vessels), oedema (swelling of the retina) and exudates (leakage of other fluid). These may occur in the central part of the back of the eye near the macula and optic nerve but they may happen in more peripheral parts of the retina. It is essential that these changes are detected and treated early to prevent blindness and for this reason, Vision Excellence is equipped with OCT scanning to screen for oedema and widefield retinal scanning at our Norwest practice so that we can carefully assess almost all of the eye for signs of diabetic retinopathy. Images of your retinas are stored securely for future comparison, allowing us to detect any subtle changes in the years to come.
Our optometrist at Vision Excellence is happy to work with your GP or diabetic specialist in the Hills District or elsewhere to protect your vision. The more controlled you can keep your blood levels as recommended by your diabetes practitioner, the less likely you will be to experience diabetic retinopathy.