I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and my doctor recommended annual eye exams. I see fine, so why do I need to get my eyes checked?

Great question. Admittedly, it does seem curious that an eye exam would be recommended annually if a person has diabetes, but your doctor is right. I like to refer to the eyes as “the windows into your overall health,” because the eye is the only place in the whole body where we can view blood vessels and nerve tissue in their natural state, without surgery. As I examine a person’s ocular / eye health, I can tell many things about their overall “systemic” health. For example, the blood vessels within the retina take on a certain appearance if a person has high blood pressure. If a person’s diabetes is taking its toll on the body, through lack of control or duration of disease, certain other signs are common within the eye – like hemorrhages, oxygen starvation spots, and /  or fragile blood vessel growth. The findings of an eye exam are critical in preventing blindness and progression of diseases such as diabetes. Communication between your eye doctor and family practice doctor allows for a necessary multidisciplinary approach to caring for your health.

Concerned about your health? Be sure to see your eye doctor routinely. Eye Care Professional Center – a difference you can feel.