Diabetic Eye Exams


Diabetes & Your Eye Health

Diabetes is a disease that can affect multiple organs, including your eyes. It increases your risk of developing eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

Because of the risks associated with having diabetes, you want your optometrist to be well-versed in the disease and its consequences on the eyes.

Managing Your Eye Health

Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, which if left undetected and untreated can result in blindness. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that those with diabetes have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, even if you are not currently experiencing any issues with your eyes. In Ontario, eye exams for patients with diabetes are covered by OHIP.

Dr. Chan can detect the signs of asymptomatic eye diseases like diabetes before you start to lose your vision, and provide you with a realistic action plan to protect your eye health.

Diabetes & Eye Diseases: How They Relate

Both type I and type II diabetes can put your eyes at risk. Diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina at the back of your eyes. These damaged vessels can leak fluid and blood into the retina, and if left untreated can cause permanent blindness.

One of the most sight-threatening issues that can occur as a result of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.

As diabetic retinopathy develops, the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye become damaged. New, more delicate vessels begin to form to take their place. These new vessels can then break and leak blood or other fluids into the retina and the vitreous, the clear substance that fills your eye.

Your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer you have diabetes. In addition, the use of tobacco products, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol increase your risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Cataracts are a common eye condition that often develops as a result of the ageing process. However, diabetes increases your chances of developing cataracts at an earlier age.

A cataract is the gradual “clouding” of the natural lens inside the eye. Diabetes makes you 60% more likely to develop cataracts; however, you can mitigate the risk by properly managing your blood sugar levels.

Glaucoma, particularly open-angle glaucoma, is twice as likely to develop with diabetes. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve, often as a result of high intraocular pressure. Diabetes can play a factor in the development of neovascular glaucoma, whereby new blood vessels may close off the drainage angle required to properly cycle the intraocular fluid.

When the drainage angle is blocked, the pressure in your eyes rises leading to damage to your optic nerve. Optic nerve damage causes vision loss and cannot be reversed.

Examination Techniques

At Dr. Mei-Ling Chan Optometry, we examine your eyes for diabetes and other eye diseases using fundus photography and optical coherence tomography. Fundus photography uses a specialized camera to capture images of your retina, the interior of your eye, giving your optometrist comprehensive view of your posterior pole, including your optic nerve and macula (used for central vision). Optical coherence tomography is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina. With OCT, we can see the retina’s distinctive layers, mapping and measuring their thickness which help with earlier diagnosis of optic nerve diseases like glaucoma and retinal disease like ARMD and diabetic eye disease.

Protect Your Eyes. Book Your Appointment Today

Taking an active role in protecting your ocular health can yield amazing benefits and ensure your vision remains clear for life, especially if you are living with diabetes.

Please book your next appointment with us today and take the necessary steps to protect your vision from diabetes-related complications.

We’re Looking Forward to Seeing You!

We are conveniently located in the Eagle Ridge Medical Complex on Huronia Road, with plenty of paid parking ($3 for the whole day) available during office hours.

Our Address

500 Huronia Road, Suite 207
Barrie, ON L4N 8X3

Contact Us

Phone: (705) 733-8883
[email protected]

Clinic Hours

9:30 AM to 7 PM
9:30 AM to 7 PM
9:30 AM to 5 PM
9:30 AM to 5 PM

Some of Our Services


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