This incredible technology allows your Eye Doctor to scan the internal lining of your eye called the retina and save this image on the computer for year to year comparisons. The retina has about 1 million nerve fibers in it and is an extension of your brain. The retina is also the ONLY place in the human body where a doctor can observe working nerve fibers and blood vessels WITHOUT cutting into the body. Subtle eye health changes can be documented, monitored and compared each year.
Your retina can show early signs of systemic problems that can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and more. Your retina can also demonstrate eye health issues such as Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Macular Degeneration and Eye Tumors and/or Eye Cancer.
Most of the time the patient does not need to have their eyes dilated in order for the Optometrist to obtain a good Optomap retinal scan – so this is a big benefit.
The TV show called “The Doctors” aired a segment discussing theOptomap Retinal Scan and the benefits of this technology during your yearly eye examination to preserve BOTH your eye health and your systemic health.
According to a study published in “Diabetes Care” – almost 13 percent of all adults aged 20 or older have Diabetes and 40 percent of these people have NOT been diagnosed with either diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Non-Hispanic Blacks and Mexican Americans had TWICE the rate of Diabetes than Non-Hispanic Whites.
So this demonstrates that you may have diabetes and you may not even know it – often there are no symptoms until the diabetic disease had progressed.
Yearly Eye Examinations with your eye doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) can often help detect early diabetic signs – even when you are not yet having any symptoms. When an eye doctor examines the inside of your eyes during a dilated retinal exam or through the use of retinal photography he or she can see signs of diabetes which include bleeding and swelling of the retina (the nerve layer that lines the inside of your eyes).
Bleeding And Leaking In Diabetic Eye Disease
Common signs of diabetes include increase in hunger, thirst and an increase in urination frequency. If your blood sugar is very high – you can even see a sudden increase in blurry vision.
Diabetes can damage the eyes and cause a permanent decrease in vision… and also increase the risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, impotence and numbness in your fingers and toes.
If you are over 20 and have not had a physical recently – now may be a good time to call your Primary Care Doctor and schedule one…especially if you have been very hungry, thirsty or going to the bathroom a lot!
If it has been more than 12 months since your last visit to your Eye Doctor – pick up the phone and schedule an appointment….for yourself….. and your family members!
The above video is a report of the Annual AOA (American Optometric Association) American Eye Q Survey for 2008.
It states that 81% of Americans wear contact lenses, eyeglasses or both.
Unfortunatley 26% of them have not visited their Optometrist or other eye doctor in 2 or more years.
Many eye care professionals – including each Eye Doctor at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Davie and Sunrise – strongly recommend that you have a yearly eye exam because most eye and vision problems cause NO obvious signs or symptoms. Often there can be a serious eye health problem such as a retinal hole, retinal tear, glaucoma, eye cancer, tumors in or behind the eyes and many more that oftenDo NOT cause any noticeable vision blur, headaches, eye pain, eye pressure etc. Frequently these conditions easily go by unnoticedand you are unaware that there is any problem or issue without having a comprehensive eye exam done by your eye doctor.
Unfortunately, most Americans are unaware that eye examinations can detect more than just vision and eye health problems. Through comprehensive eye exams and optometrist can detect signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, brain tumors, cancer, heart and cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, Mutliple Sclerosis (MS) and more…
This kind of diabetic pathology is caused when elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) damages the blood vessels in the retina – causing bleeding and fluid build up in and around the retina. Blood sugar is monitored via blood glucose testing and Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing (which tells the primary care doctor the average blood glucose in someone’s blood for the past few months – not just the glucose reading on the day of the testing).
Therefore, it is essential for diabetics to have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 12 months – even if their blood sugar is under control. A comprehensive examination should include a dilated eye exam with retinal imaging (digital retinal photography) to document the presence or absence of any diabetic retinopathy. Retinal photography is essential to pick up and document any subtle diabetic changes in the retina from year to year.