Certain changes around and inside the eye can cause an optometrist to suspect diabetes and send patient for immediate tests.
The blood vessels in the eye are very delicate and are often the first to be affected by diabetes, and these vessels can be viewed directly by your optometrist who will detect any changes.
This is a disease of the retina (a layer that produces an image) caused by diabetes, that involves damage to the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye.
Early disease may cause no symptoms, as the disease progresses and enters advanced or proliferative stage, fragile, new vessels grow along the retina and in the clear, gel-like vitreous that fills the inside of the eye.
Without timely treatment, these new blood vessels can bleed, cloud vision and destroy the retina.
Everyone with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is at risk for diabetic retinopathy.
Swelling in the portion of the retina that is most sensitive to light (macula oedema) makes it hard for patients to read and drive.
As new blood vessels form the back of the eye, they can bleed and further blur vision, and large haemorrhages tends to happen more than once and often during sleep.
All of these changes can only be detected during an eye examination and strongly recommended to all diabetics once (ideally twice) a year, for necessary referrals and treatment.