Being diagnosed with diabetes can be alarming enough, but being told that you need to see an ophthalmologist could put you in a tailspin. If you're feeling confused and concerned right now, this is what you need to know about diabetes, ophthalmology, and your future.
What Ophthalmologists Do
"Ophthalmologist" is simply a fancy word for describing a doctor who specializes in the eyes. These doctors take additional schooling and training in order to be able to examine the eye, diagnose problems with it, and to treat it.
Ophthalmologists are only there to help you. It's quite common for people with diabetes to see ophthalmologists, so chances are the one you end up visiting will have no issues with your condition and will be able to help to protect your vision.
Diabetes and the Eyes
The main reason why your doctor wants you to see an eye doctor in the first place is because of your diabetes. While you may have heard that diabetes is a disorder that causes abnormal blood sugar levels and potential complications like nerve pain, it can impact the eyes, too.
One of the things that diabetes can do throughout the body is impact blood pressure and the health of your veins and arteries. When inflammation develops in the arteries from diabetes, pressure increases in order to help force blood through a more narrow artery. Unfortunately, this can impact your eyes in a big way, as even minor shifts in pressure in the eye can potentially put your eye health at risk.
Those with diabetes are also often at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. This condition can be controlled and prevented from hurting your vision so long as you visit an eye doctor regularly and follow their advice.
What to Expect
For your first appointment to an eye doctor's office, you shouldn't expect anything uncomfortable or unpleasant. Your eye doctor will meet with you, discuss your overall health, and will then perform an eye exam. This is done with specialized equipment that can look deeply into the eye, past the pupil, and into the inner surfaces of the eye. Your eye doctor will be able to look for signs of damage to the blood vessels, injury, and any other problems that you might have that could even be unrelated to diabetes.
If you have an issue with your eyes, rest assured that your eye doctor will be able to help. Most of the time, eye medication is provided in drops that you can apply directly to your eyes. Whether the pressure in your eyes is too high or you're developing glaucoma, your eye doctor will have medication that can help you.
Diabetes and eye problems often go hand-in-hand, but that doesn't mean that your vision has to be put at risk. With regular care and at-home treatments, you can control any symptoms your diabetes causes to your eyes and protect your vision.
Contact a clinic like Idaho Eye and Laser Center to learn more about taking care of your eyes.