November 14th is World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to global recognition of diabetes and how it affects everyone. It is a safe bet that virtually everyone in Canada has heard of, and likely knows someone who is living with diabetes. Currently, there are nearly 11 million people living with either diabetes or prediabetes, a disease that causes the body to either fail to produce insulin, or makes it incapable of using it. Since insulin helps the body control blood sugar, people with diabetes suffer from high blood sugar levels. You may be aware that high blood sugar can damage your body’s organs, but were you aware that your eyes were included in the potential damage?
We are used to people having different eye colours, brown, blue, green, hazel, etc. We may even have seen someone whose eye colour appears to change, depending on lighting. But have you ever met someone who has two distinct different eye colours? Have you ever wondered what may cause something like that to happen?
What is Heterochromia?
Diabetes can seriously affect your visual system, but early signs of diabetes can be first detected in a Comprehensive Eye Exam performed by an Optometrist.
Diabetes can cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, and an inability to focus on objects that are close. Diabetes can result in cataracts, glaucoma, decreased corneal sensitivity, and paralysis of the nerves that control the pupil and the eye muscles. Diabetes can fluctuate or blur your vision, cause periodic double vision, and you can lose your visual field. The most serious visual problem associated diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.
In Canada there are approximately 3 million people living with diabetes and type 2, the most common, accounts for 90% of all cases.
This chronic disease can complicate your vision and all the parts surrounding your eye. Your symptoms would be blurry vision, or flashes within the eyes but these symptoms can be detected in a comprehensive eye exam, which should be completed on an annual basis.
If you think you are experiencing these symptoms we would like to remind you to regularly schedule annual eye exams, not only for yourself but for your children. A comprehensive eye exam will look for functionality and focus, and overall eye health.
The new year has arrived and gym memberships are at a premium again. Many will make regular scheduled appointments for a physical check up, or semi annual dental exams so why not schedule an annual eye exam?
Did you know that many diseases such as diabetes, can be first detected from an eye exam? As we begin the health kick to get into better shape we should not overlook our optometrist.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to have regular eye exams to make sure your eyes remain healthy. The eyes, like the proverbial canary in the mine, can be a strong indicator on how well your diabetes is being managed.