Diabetes and Eye Care
Diabetes mellitus is a microvasculature disease that affects the body in several different ways. One particular complication is the loss of vision. People with diabetes can lose vision due to the increased rate of cataract formation or by the devastating retinal effects of the disease. Yearly eye exams for people that have diabetes is an important part of making sure that the disease is being controlled and that we, as health care practitioners, are protecting the health of our patients. The retina is the only place in the human body where we can see both nerves and blood vasculature. Diabetes can damage the retina’s microvasculature and cause the arterioles to leak. It is important that eye care physicians monitor the retina to make sure the vasculature is not leaking blood or proteins because this can cause further retinal damage such as a retinal detachment. If this leaking of the arterioles is detected and monitored, further retinal damage can usually be controlled. If micro aneurysms are detected in the retina, then there's a possibility that areas of the body such as the kidneys and extremities are also being affected. It is just as important that we, as eye care physicians, communicate our findings with our patients’ primary care physician as it is actually detecting retinal changes due to diabetes.
This continuity of care is vital in protecting our patient’s bodies from the negative effects of diabetes mellitus. We are able to use our Optomap Retinal Laser System to achieve a very good view of a patient’s retina and that allows both the patient and Dr. Paul to view where these problems might be occurring. These photos are digitally saved and can be compared from one visit to the next to monitor changes. They can also be sent to a patient’s physician if needed.