Diabetic Eye Exams in Wainwright

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Specialized Eye Exams for Those with Diabetes

Diabetes is a systemic condition that affects the entire body. If you have this disease, you’re likely aware of the risks it poses if it’s not controlled. However, you may not know of all the risks diabetes puts on your eyes specifically. 

Diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels all over your body. The blood vessels in your eyes are particularly delicate, however, and require special attention.

Your eyes are the only place in the body where part of your central nervous system is visible. Regular diabetic eye exams can expose damage to your blood vessels before you develop serious complications. Your optometrist may even notice signs of diabetes before you’ve been diagnosed.

Because of the risks posed by diabetes, it’s recommended that you undergo annual eye exams. At Prairie Vision, we provide comprehensive diabetic eye exams using advanced diagnostic technology to help protect your long-term eye health.

How to Prepare for Your Diabetic Eye Exam

  • Bring your Alberta Personal Health Card
  • Bring your current glasses and sunglasses
  • If you are a contact lens wearer, please wear your contact lenses to your appointment & bring your current glasses
  • Bring a list of any medications you are currently taking
  • If you have third-party insurance, check your coverage and bring your plan information (check our list of accepted insurance providers or get in touch if you have questions)

How Diabetes Affects the Eyes

In the short term, you likely won’t experience vision problems. But you may experience temporary blurred vision caused by fluctuating blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can change fluid levels and cause swelling in the tissues that control your ability to focus. 

High blood sugar levels can damage the fragile blood vessels that supply the retina in the long term. Damaged blood vessels can bulge, break, and leak blood and fluid, causing swelling, increased inner eye pressure, growth of new weaker blood vessels, and scarring. 

This blood vessel damage can lead to sight-threatening eye diseases. In fact, most diabetic eye diseases begin with blood vessel problems.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when damage causes your retinal blood vessels to weaken, bulge, and leak into the retina.

As the disease gets worse, blood vessels can close off and deprive oxygen to the retina. To compensate, your eyes grow new abnormal blood vessels that break easily, increase intraocular pressure, cause scarring, lead to floaters, and impair vision.

Complications caused by diabetic retinopathy can also lead to diabetic macular edema. Leaking fluids from damaged blood vessels can collect under the macula—the part of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision—causing swelling (edema) and partial vision loss.

As abnormal blood vessels grow in the eyes, they can block the eye’s drainage system, and when blood and fluids leaking from broken vessels have nowhere to drain, internal eye pressure can become dangerously high. When this happens, it can cause glaucoma, a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve.

Cataracts can be caused by diabetes when blood sugar collects in the aqueous humour, the fluid between the lens and the cornea and supplies the lens with nutrients and oxygen. High blood sugar levels in the aqueous humour can cause the lens to swell, leading to blurred and cloudy vision.

How to Prepare for Your Diabetic Eye Exam

  • Bring your Alberta Personal Health Card
  • Bring your current glasses and sunglasses
  • If you are a contact lens wearer, please wear your contact lenses to your appointment & bring your current glasses
  • Bring a list of any medications you are currently taking
  • If you have third-party insurance, check your coverage and bring your plan information (check our list of accepted insurance providers or get in touch if you have questions)

Our Location

We serve clients of all ages from Wainwright, Viking, Vermilion, Provost, Lloydminster (Alberta), Macklin (Saskatchewan), and the surrounding areas.

Our Address

  • 2802 15th Ave, Unit 2
  • Wainwright, AB T9W 0A4

Contact Information

After-Hours Emergencies: 780-842-0650

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:30 AM 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:30 AM 5:30 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM 5:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:30 AM 5:30 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Closed for all statutory holidays

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