Diabetic Eye Exams in Saskatoon

Your Vision & Health are Linked

It might not surprise you to learn that your eyes and health are inextricably linked. This means that certain health conditions—like diabetes—can affect your eyes and vision.

Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in our country, and it can have long-term effects on your eye health. If you have diabetes, we typically recommend annual eye exams. Frequent exams help detect early signs of eye problems, allowing us to manage them and help preserve your vision.

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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a systemic health condition that affects how your body uses or produces insulin. Insulin is a key hormone that allows glucose to enter your cells.

If your body isn’t producing enough insulin or isn’t using it properly, it can lead to high blood sugar. High blood sugar can damage many organs in your body, especially your heart, kidneys, and eyes. Doctors have found that the cause of diabetes varies from person to person, but genetics, certain lifestyle choices, and your environment can increase your risk of developing it.

Eye Problems Linked To Diabetes

Fluctuating Vision

Significant increases or decreases in your blood sugar can change how your eyes focus. This occurs because the lenses inside your eyes swell and shrink when the blood sugar fluctuates. Sometimes this can cause dramatic changes in your eyeglass prescription.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease linked to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy develops when high blood sugar weakens the blood vessels inside the retina. These vessels may break and leak fluids, leading to macular edema. As a result, the fluids can damage the retina and possibly cause permanent vision loss.

In advanced cases, diabetic retinopathy can cause the growth of abnormal blood vessels and scar tissue on your retina. Scar tissue increases the risk of retinal detachment, which can lead to blindness.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. As damages occur to blood vessels in your eye, fluids can accumulate within your macula, causing your macula to swell.

Your macula is the centremost part of your retina, helping you see fine details, read, and drive. If fluids damage your macula,these tasks can become difficult.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma in the country, and diabetes can increase your risk of developing it. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up inside your eye, raising your intraocular pressure (IOP) and damaging your optic nerve.

Learn more about glaucoma and its types by visiting our Eye Disease Diagnosis & Management page.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a common eye condition that generally develops as you grow older, but diabetes increases the risk of developing them at a younger age. Cataracts occur when the clear crystalline lenses inside your eye become rigid and opaque, causing cloudy vision.

Blurry vision caused by early cataracts can often be corrected with eyeglasses or contacts, but cataract surgery is the only way to correct poor vision from more severe cataracts.

​​​​​​​How we Examine Your Eyes

Optos California

Optos imaging technology helps our team detect diseases and monitor changes in your eyes year to year. This tool takes an ultra-wide image of your retina in half a second, making it an ideal device for detecting diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

Zeiss Cirrus OCT

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a special ultrasound-like technology we use to get detailed, cross-sectional images of your retina. Using only light rays, OCT helps us determine your retina’s thickness, differentiate its layers, and search for many eye diseases that can cause vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema. It helps our team detect diseases and conditions that affect your retina.