Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions and is a major health concern in our country. Over 10% of the US population is diagnosed with diabetes. Many other people are considered pre-diabetic or are undiagnosed. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in young and middle-aged people. Over time, diabetes gradually weakens blood vessel walls resulting in small leaks (hemorrhages). Diabetics also have poor oxygen and nutrition delivery to cells, with resulting tissue damage. In the eye we can see these small hemorrhages as they form in the retina and track the status of these and other retinal complications of diabetes.
We have three high tech instruments to help us care for diabetics. The Optos Retinal Image System captures a digital image of the retina which we review with you each time you have it. We recommend this for all our patients. The images can be compared over time to monitor any eye retinal health concerns. For diabetic patients, hemorrhages can be identified and tracked over time. The Avanti OCT takes images at different layers of the macula, the part of our eye that gives us our sharpest vision. The OCT can show structural changes to small vessels which precede functional changes or hemorrhages. The Diopsys Flicker ERG evaluates function rather than structure so we can track functional changes 3-5 years before anatomical changes become evident. This gives a head start on encouraging and motivating diabetic patients to focus on their health.
We have also been part of several studies and programs working with Bristlecone Health and students at Bethel University to help educate diabetic patients on how to strategically manage their diabetes with great results in reduced blood sugar levels, A1c readings, weight loss and improved BMI and general health.
We are specialists in Diabetic Eye Care and have the resources to help monitor your eye health and stay on top of the ever-changing landscape surrounding Diabetes. Call us and let us help you manage your diabetic health.