0800 035 6316
Home   |   Blog   |   How a sight test can help with diabetes
How a sight test can help with diabetes
Raising awareness for World Diabetes Day...

In the UK alone there is an estimated 4 million people currently living with some form of diabetes.

90% of those will have Type 2, and the remaining 10% will have Type 1 diabetes.

When we break this down that translates to as many as 1 in 16 people having diabetes in the country, either diagnosed or undiagnosed.

Diabetes is a life-long condition which happens when the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly.

If left untreated it can cause serious health complications.

As mentioned previously there are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Both are very different from each other and have different causes, but are equally just as serious, requiring proper monitoring and treatment.

All types of Diabetes are closely linked with a number of conditions that can impair vision, with diabetic retinopathy the leading cause and the most common form of diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic retinopathy is when changes in your blood glucose levels cause changes in retinal blood vessels, which can swell in and leak fluid into the rear of the eye in some cases.

It can affect anyone with diabetes and can be dangerous, posing a major risk to blindness if left untreated.

There is an increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy as we get older alongside uncontrolled blood sugar/pressure levels.

Other diabetes-related conditions can also affect your vision and further underline how essential an eye test can be in helping diagnose these problems early.

Cataracts and glaucoma are both twice as likely to develop for diabetics. Both can be treated with surgery as they advance, with patients referred for appropriate treatment should they require it.

Having regular sight tests is a very effective way in which you can help identify diabetes or related conditions early.

A diabetic eye screening, however, is different from a sight test and will involve taking a picture of the back of the eye using specialised equipment.

This picture is then screened to assess if there are any problems, and the results of which is sent to both yourself and your GP to confirm the results.  

This is fundamentally different from a sight test, and some of our opticians have been trained to screen the back of the eye to help identify any underlying eye conditions.

In domiciliary eye care, there is currently no approved equipment to take a photograph of the back of the eye, as such you must be vigilant when someone claims to offer you as such.

Visioncall’s optometrists can identify early changes within the eye as part of a sight test at home, such as small leaks from a damaged blood vessel, an early tell-tale sign of diabetes.

There are also a few symptoms which could be signalling you may already have diabetes or retinopathy.  

While blurred vision is not usually a sign of retinopathy, it is common at the time you are diagnosed with diabetes or soon after. This is a result of having a high level of glucose (sugar) in your blood at the time.

Usually this will settle down in a few weeks and once under control your vision should restore, however if this does not happen, please see your doctor.

To effectively protect your eyes against retinopathy you should have a sight test once diagnosed with diabetes, and again a year after this as part of your annual diabetes review.

Don’t wait for changes in your vision before doing so, as retinopathy often displays no symptoms until it enters its more advanced stages and more difficult to treat.

To arrange a sight test in your home or care residence today, click here or call us today on 0800 035 6316.