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The Dangers of Diabetic Retinopathy

Annual eye exams are essential for diabetics as eye damage can occur before any symptoms appear.  The main reason why people with diabetes are encouraged to have annual eye exams is to examine any changes that may have occurred in the blood vessels of the retina, indicating diabetic retinopathy.  This ocular disease develops as prolonged high blood glucose levels weakens the walls of the thin blood vessels found in the eyes.  The duration of diabetes in the patient, as well as the height of their blood sugar level, can heighten the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.  Diabetics can be prone to hemorrhages (bleeding) in these vessels of the eye.  If these are left untreated, they can cause rapid and permanent vision loss.  Roughly 90% of diabetes-related blindness can be avoided by getting an annual eye exam.

At Complete Eye Care, we can take annual retinal images (photos of the back of the eye) in order to detect any changes in the eye from year to year.  PHOTO INSERT.  Our doctors highly recommend that every patient have these photos performed annually.  Diseases such as glaucoma, hypertension, high cholesterol, tumors, cataracts, and especially diabetic retinopathy can be observed through these photos.  Drs. Vaher, Marcussen, and Gesford will spend time with you during your exam to review your retinal images and discuss any issues they may have noticed.  Complete Eye Care offers this service to all of our patients for an additional fee of only $38 for both photos and the consultation in addition to the comprehensive eye exam.  For those patients with diabetes or other medical conditions, health insurance plans may cover this additional testing for only your specialist copay.  Make sure you set up your annual eye exam today and ask how you can have these retinal images performed.

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