Eye-deology Vision Care: Edmonton Optometrists, Opticians and Eyewear

Diabetic Eye Exams Prevent Vision Loss

According to Diabetes Canada, currently, one in three Canadians has diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) or prediabetes. Furthermore, previous research shows that those 20 years of age today face a 50 percent chance of developing diabetes in their lifetime. Diabetes can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and vision loss and impact overall health. Regular diabetic eye exams are essential to manage diabetes and prevent irreversible vision loss. Schedule a diabetic eye exam with our Edmonton optometrists today and see how and why our eye exams are one of the most thorough, comprehensive, advanced, and personalized available.

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Diabetes is a disease that affects many areas of the body, including your eyes. In terms of ocular health, diabetes increases the risk of developing several eye diseases and conditions. These include glaucoma and cataracts, as well the risk of vision loss. The foremost eye health concern for individuals with diabetes is the development of diabetic retinopathy - a condition where the growth of new blood vessels can cause irreversible vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to develop complications like diabetic retinopathy. That is why adopting lifestyle changes, learning to manage diabetes, and regular health exams are important.

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Diabetes Affects Your Vision

A diabetic eye exam focuses on your eye health and managing your diabetes. Accordingly, it does not include an evaluation of your vision (i.e., visual acuity), or an eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Diabetic eye exams are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (ACHIP). If you wish to update your glasses or contact lenses prescription, you may schedule a comprehensive eye exam at the same, or on a seperate occasion.

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Diabetic Eye Exam in North Edmonton

Not all diabetic eye exams are created equal. Our optometrists incorporate modern diagnostic technologies, such as wide-angle digital retinal photography and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to assist in the detection, treatment, and management of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. The imagery provided by these technologies promote the early detection of eye disease and provide visual intelligence to assist in the co-management of diabetes by optometrists, physicians, and diabetes specialists.

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Wide Angle Digital Retinal Photography - Image Of The Back Of The Eye Used To Detect Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects the eyes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (i.e., retina). This damage occurs when chronically high blood sugar levels begin to clog or damage blood vessels within the eye's retina that contains light-sensitive cells (photoreceptors) necessary for good vision. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, blood vessel damage causes the retina to swell and form deposits. In later stages, leakage from blood vessels into the eye's clear, jelly-like vitreous can cause severe vision problems and may eventually lead to vision loss.

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Managing Diabetes Requires Regular Diabetic Eye Exams

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Healthy Eye Before Diabetic Retinopathy
Eye With Diabetic Retinopathy

Like many eye diseases and conditions, diabetic retinopathy can produce no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, over time, the once mild conditions can worsen and lead to partial and complete blindness. You should visit our Edmonton optometrists if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Floaters, or darks dots and strings, in your field of vision;
  • Dark or empty areas in your field of vision;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Difficulty focusing;
  • Vision that seems to fluctuate;
  • Changed colour vision; or
  • Partial to total vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy typically affects both eyes similarly. Learn more about the symptoms, causes and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

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Example of Vision With Diabetic Retinopathy

The best way to manage eye problems related to diabetes is through early detection of retinal abnormalities, regular monitoring, and prompt treatment. Early detection and treatment typically begin with a dilated retinal eye exam.

eye-deology Vision Care diabetic eye exams and regular eye exams include digital retinal imaging and retinal visualization technologies like Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). These technologies are critically importantant for the early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. They enable our Edmonton optometrists to see more so that you may never see less.

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Regular Diabetic Eye Exams Prevent Vision Loss

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Dry Eye Syndrome

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Diabetes is a systemic condition which means it can also increase your chance of developing other health problems, such as hearth disease, kidney disease, eretile dysfunction in men, nerve damage, amputation, dry eye syndrom and more.

With guidance from medical professionals, individuals can do the following to manage their diabetes and maintain their ocular health:
  • Manage your blood glucose, or sugar levels
  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Manage your cholesterol
  • If you smoke, then quit
  • Visit an optometrist for a dilated eye at lease once a year

A diabetic eye exam focuses on your eye health and managing your diabetes. Accordingly, it does not include an evaluation of your vision (i.e., visual acuity), or an eyeglasses/contact lenses prescription. If you wish to update your glasses or contact lenses prescription, you may schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

With your safety our primary concern, we typically recommend that individuals take the passenger seat following a dilated eye exam. However, people can safely drive home following dilation if the proper precautions are taken. Dark tinted sunglasses are strongly recommended becuase your eyes will not be able to naturally adjust to bright lights (e.g., sunlights, headlights, etc.). In addition, we highly recommend that individuals plan to drive straight home and relax for 3-4 hours rather than undertaking other activities.

Yes. every registered Albertan, regardless of age, with an Albert Health Care card is covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for an annual diabetes eye health examination by an optometrist. You do not need to see an ophthalmologist or have a referral from your primary care physician or diabetes specialist.

  • Your Alberta Health Care (AHC) card. This enables us to bill Alberta Health Care for the dilated retinal exam;
  • Government issued photo ddentificatyion is required for all AHC visits;
  • The name of your family doctor or diabetic specialist. We require this information to communication with your doctor and co-manage your diabetes effectively;
  • A list of your current medications;
  • Several recent blood sugar readings and details on their stability;
  • Your most recent HgA1C reading and if is stable or increasing;
  • Information regarding any previous eye surgeries; and
  • Your current eyeglasses so that we determine any changes to your visual acuity.

Searching for an optometrist in Edmonton? Our experienced Edmonton eye doctors use advanced modern technologies and devote upwards of 500% more time towards providing personalized patient care than elsewhere so that they can see more and ensure that you may never see less. Position yourself to see the future with a visit to our eye clinic and Edmonton's best eye care!

Doctor Jennifer Ash, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jennifer Ash is the Resident Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Ash provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. Ash.

Doctor Ruhee Kurji, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Ruhee Kurji is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Kurji provides patient care Tuesdays & Fridays. Read more about Dr. Kurji.

Doctor Jade McLachlin, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jade McLachlin is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. McLachlin provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. McLachlin.

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