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Posted on 02-09-2017

February is American Heart Month
Our Gahanna and Columbus Optometrists Explain How Heart Health and Diabetes are Correlated to Eye Exams

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. It can have an onset during childhood, which is normally Type I diabetes, or it can develop as an adult. With February being Heart Health Month, it is important to take a look at diabetes as well. That's because diabetes and heart health are closely connected. People with diabetes have twice the risk of heart attack or stroke as those without the disease. Another concern that diabetes patients need to worry about more than the general public is their vision. Unfortunately, many with diabetes don't see the need to see their eye doctors more frequently, and 58% of diabetic patients over 40 don't even bother to get an annual eye exam from their optometrists.

Valentine's Day Special for Gahanna and Columbus

Vision Concerns from Our Eye Doctors for Diabetics

People with diabetes experience more vision related eye problems than the general population. They are more prone to both cataracts, which is a type of debris that forms over a person's natural eye lens, and glaucoma. They are also more likely to report blurry vision. In some cases, diabetes is severe enough to cause blindness, and it is, in fact the leading cause of going blind for those between 20-74.  While these facts seem frightening, regular visits to our eye doctors at Berk Eye Care Center in either Columbus or Gahanna, Ohio can make a big difference. For example, one major cause of vision loss is glaucoma, but patients rarely notice symptoms on their own until they are having major troubles with their eyes. A doctor of optometry can discover this much sooner, when treatment options are still available.

Diabetic Retinopathy at Our Columbus and Gahanna Optometry Clinics

All disorders of the retina that are caused by diabetes are referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Some are categorized as non-proliferative, while others are proliferative.

Nonproliferative Retinopathy is the most common and is caused by balloon pouches forming in the capillaries in the back of the eye. In some cases, macular edema occurs with retinopathy. When this happens, capillary walls are no longer effective on controlling how substances move to the retina. Fluid can leak onto the macula and cause blurred vision. If the condition is diagnosed early enough with an eye exam, vision can often be restored.

Proliferative Retinopathy is more serious. Blood vessels can become damaged to the point that they close off, causing new blood vessels to form in the retina. The new vessels are prone to leaking blood, which can block vision. Scar tissue can also form, and as it grows and shrinks it can lead to the retina becoming detached. Various treatments are available, but their success depends largely on the condition being diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor early. The more the retina is allowed to detach, the lower the possibility becomes of vision being restored.

Of course, taking care of your eyes and vision is important whether you have diabetes or not. At Berk Eye Care Center we have four experienced and qualified optometrists working at our locations in Columbus and Gahanna. In honor of Heart Health Month, we are are running a special for February only that offers a 30% discount on eyeglass frames that are pink, red, or white. The offer does not including frames from Oakley, Babiators, and Maui Jim Sunglasses and it can't be combined with any other offer. To schedule an eye exam contact us at 614-866-9002 for our Columbus location or our Gahanna office at 614-476-2015.

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