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Lougheed Town Centre Optometry and Optical in Burnaby, BC
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Lougheed Town Centre Optical in Burnaby, BC
Home » What's New » How to Prevent Diabetic Vision Loss

How to Prevent Diabetic Vision Loss

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Eye Complications of Diabetes

It's true. Diabetics have a higher risk of blindness than those without the disease. That fact coupled with the superior prognosis of early intervention, makes it easy to understand why optometrists and doctors say routine eye care is absolutely essential. Below, we'll discuss what your eye doctor is looking for during a diabetic eye exam.  

As the incidence of diabetes increases, it is important to spread awareness about the risks and proper preventative care for diabetes patients. November is Diabetes Awareness month, so read on!

Diabetics are at greater risk of for a number of eye problems.  

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic retinopathy is the term used for the disorders associated with diabetes that cause progressive damage to the retina.  The longer a patient has had diabetes, the more likely it is that he will develop these conditions which can be very serious, vision-threatening complications. 

There are two types of retinopathy: nonproliferative and proliferative. 

Nonproliferative retinopathy, which is the most common form, is when capillaries at the back of the eye become weakened and may start to leak blood and fluids. Nonproliferative retinopathy, which often has no symptoms, can be characterized as mild, moderate or severe, depending on how many blood vessels are affected and becoming blocked. This type of retinopathy usually doesn't require treatment and doesn't cause vision loss, unless the leaking fluid ends up in the macula where the eye focuses - a condition called macular edema. If this happens, vision can be blurred and even lost so preventative treatment is essential.  

Proliferative retinopathy is much more severe. This is when so much damage is done to the blood vessels that they begin to close off. New blood vessels begin to grow in the retina as a response to this deterioration. The new and weak vessels can leak blood, impairing vision, or can form scar tissue which can distort the retina or cause a retinal detachment.

Proliferative retinopathy requires urgent referral to an ophthalmologist for treatment. While it usually takes years to develop, some instances of proliferative retinopathy can occur within weeks or months if blood sugars are not well-controlled. Pregnancy can also accelerate proliferative retinopathy in known diabetics. Yet if detected early, treatment can be done successfully. 

Like high blood pressure, there are often no warning symptoms until advanced stages of diabetes. It is best to get checked each year by an optometrist. If you experience any changes in your vision such as spots in vision, flashes of light, blurred or double vision (rarely pain), make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. Treatments do exists for retinopathy and many of them are successful in repairing damage and sometimes even restoring vision.

Cataracts: 

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which blocks light from entering and impairs vision. While cataracts are a fairly common and treatable condition, people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop the condition and often get them at a younger age. Those with the condition also may experience vision fluctuation which occurs from sugar levels affecting the lens of the eye. Cataracts often progress faster in diabetics as well. In serious cases of cataracts, a surgical procedure is done to remove the natural lens of the eye which can sometimes cause complications in diabetic patients that may already have symptoms of other conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a serious condition where pressure builds up in the eye causing damage to the retina and optic nerve and eventually if left untreated, blindness.  Diabetics are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma and the risk increases with age and the amount of time the individual has had diabetes. There are treatments for glaucoma including medications and surgery but early detection and treatment are essential to prevent permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is often called the "silent thief of sight" because vision loss often doesn't occur until significant damage is done. Therefore, yearly eye exams are essential. 

Cornea Alterations:

Diabetics may experience reduced sensitivity in their cornea. This means that contact lens wearers that are diabetics should be more cautious, as they develop higher tolerance if the lens irritates the eyes and may be at greater risk of infection. 

Eye Muscle Disturbance:

More advanced diabetes cases can show restriction of eye muscle movement due to nerve palsy. 

 

For diabetics, the key to early detection and treatment - and therefore preserving your vision - is to have your eye health monitored on a regular basis. Get your eyes examined every year by an optometrist and if you experience any changes in your vision such as spots, floaters, blurred vision or pain, make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. 

Clinic Protocols and Patient Guidelines – COVID -19

We have been working diligently to establish protocols to keep both our patients and staff safe during this time and for the foreseeable future. The following protocols and guidelines have been established to ensure the highest level of sanitation possible.

Clinic Hygiene and Sanitization Protocols

 

Arrival to the Clinic

ONLY scheduled patients are permitted to enter the clinic. If you were driven to the clinic, please ask your family/friend to wait for you in the car. Please enter the clinic no earlier than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you arrive late for your appointment, it may have to be re-scheduled as we must keep on time to ensure enough time for sanitation between patients and avoid overcrowding at the reception area.

Please wear a MASK before entering the clinic.

If you do not have a mask, we will be offering them for a nominal fee.

 

Further Safety Precautions

Touchless Payment

Currently, we are only accepting Interac, Mastercard and Visa cards. If you have extended health insurance, Please inform our staff with all the details. We deal with Sun life, Great-West Life, Blue Cross and Manulife we will bill your insurance first and then charge your credit card the remaining balance.

Physical Distancing

Please be mindful to keep 2M distance if you run into other patients in the reception room. Stand on the floor decals. We are aiming to stagger appointment to avoid congregation in the waiting room.

Sanitation time between each treatment has been scheduled and we are using hospital grade disinfectants to sanitize all high touchpoints, tables, light switches, door handles etc

Practitioner PPE

We will be wearing masks, and some will be wearing face shields, gloves, and scrubs.

Paying for your treatment

 

Booking Appointments

Please email the clinic at info@lougheedoptical.com or call at (604) 420-2115 for your future appointments.

24 Hours Prior to your scheduled appointment

24 hrs. prior to your appointment, you will receive your 24-hour reminder email. It will have a link to the THRIVE BC COVID- 19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. The link is: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en IF you answer YES to any of the questions, please call the clinic to reschedule your appointment no earlier than 2 weeks. This is extremely important for the safety and protection of our patients, therapist, and our families.

Upon the arrival of your appointment, if we notice any flu-like symptoms or through conversation realize that you have possibly engaged with friends/family who may have been exposed to COVID- 19, we will respectfully ask you to reschedule the appointment.

Product Purchase

Our Staff will assist you in Choosing your Eye Wear, Please DO NOT HANDLE THE FRAMES FROM THE DISPLAY. Once you have made your Frame selection the remaining frames will be sanitized before being placed on the frame bars.

These protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of you, your loved ones, our staff, our practitioners, and their families.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Lougheed Town Centre Optical & Optometry

Located at 9855 Austin Rd, Ste 147, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

Phone: 604-420-2115

We are back! We are now open to our normal business hours. Please request an appointment here or call 604-670-3329. We are looking forward to seeing you again. Thank you, and stay safe.