The Importance of Eye Exams for Diabetics

Pictures of Retinal FUNDUS images for Diabetes
January 11, 2021
James Ashford

3 MIN. READ

Diabetes has become an all-too-common diagnosis in the United States, with people developing it at younger ages. With about 1 in 10 Americans diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 88 million prediabetic Americans, it can safely be said that diabetes is an epidemic condition. With this disease comes many additional conditions, including diabetic neuropathy (loss of feeling in the extremities), kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels of the retina).

Diagnosing diabetes early can help to prevent some of these additional conditions by treating the underlying issues that cause them. Eye tests are an excellent means of early diagnosis of diabetes, so as a broker, it is your job to inform your clients of how important regular vision care is.

Vision Care Direct provides comprehensive eye examinations for non-diabetic and diabetic customers alike. By providing access to great eye care, Vision Care Direct can help your clients and their prediabetic and diabetic employees avoid serious complications.

Comprehensive eye exams can detect diabetes

Comprehensive annual eye examinations are an excellent way of diagnosing diabetes in its early stages. During these exams, an optometrist or ophthalmologist examines the deep structures of the eye, including the blood vessels and nerves. Abnormalities in these deep structures can be suggestive of diabetes. Helping your clients understand the science behind the diagnosis can help you convince them of the necessity of regular eye examinations.

Regular exams can also detect progressive complications

Untreated or poorly treated diabetes can cause many issues with vision and overall eye health. Eye problems like blurry vision are common with diabetics and can be a symptom of poorly managing blood sugar. If left untreated, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can even increase the risk of permanent blindness.

Diabetics are also at an increased risk for other serious eye issues, including glaucoma and cataracts. But the most serious concern for diabetics is diabetic retinopathy, which develops due to the buildup of sugar in the blood. While early on there may be no symptoms, as the disease progresses, people can experience partial or total blindness.

During a comprehensive diabetic eye exam, the optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose diabetic retinopathy by dilating the pupil and examining the blood vessels deep in the eye. If they diagnose retinopathy, patients can then receive treatment that can prevent or slow the progress of the condition. By explaining the potentially serious complications of neglecting eye health in diabetic patients, you can persuade your clients to invest in quality vision care. Vision Care Direct offers coverage for exams that look for hallmarks of retinopathy to help your clients and their employees avoid these serious issues.

Vision Care Direct is here to help

Vision Care Direct supports eye health by covering regular comprehensive eye exams for everyone. For diabetics, Vision Care Direct covers examinations, including pupil dilation, that specifically focus on diagnosing the common complications of diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy. At Vision Care Direct, we want to ensure that the eyes of our customers stay healthy, so we focus on patient wellbeing, not on profitability.

Plus, if customers need eyewear or contact lenses to assist with their vision issues, we offer savings, including built-in coverage for those features that many customers want in their eyewear (such as UV protection and scratch coating).

Diabetes is a serious health issue that can have a profound effect on the eyes. Comprehensive exams can help to diagnose diabetes and its complications early on when they may be more treatable. For more information about the connection between diabetes and eye health or about how Vision Care Direct can help your clients receive the vision care they need, contact us today.

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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