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Diabetic Eye Exam


It’s always important to have your eyes regularly checked by a professional – however, for people with diabetes, a regular diabetic vision exam is especially important.

Diabetes can damage the tiny blood vessels all over our body, which includes the eyes. This can cause a number of eye problems that can lead to vision loss or blindness.

People with diabetes have a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy, which is why routine eye checkups are vital. At Bayside Eyecare, we recommend an annual diabetic eye exam with one of our friendly and experienced team, where we can make sure we catch and treat problems early.

What is diabetic retinopathy?  

High blood sugar levels– a risk for people with diabetes– can affect the body in a number of ways, and one of these is diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition that damages the thin layer at the back of the eye, known as the retina, which can cause changes to the blood vessels and affect the flow of blood to parts of the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy leads to vision loss over time, and it is the fourth most common cause of blindness in Australia. 

What are the signs of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy might not have any symptoms in the early stages, but if left untreated over a longer period of time, it can cause:

  • Vision loss
  • Distortion of images
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Visual blur
  • Blindness (in later stages)

Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, a diabetes eye check can catch symptoms early and make a huge difference to your eye health.

Aside from having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, certain people are at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy:

  • People who have had diabetes for a long time.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Indigenous Australians.
  • People with other medical conditions, including high blood pressure/cholesterol. 

For people with these risk factors, we strongly recommend an annual diabetic eye test.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

Unlike many other eye conditions, in its early stages, diabetic retinopathy can’t be seen or felt from the front of your eye. That’s why it’s important to book a diabetic eye exam with the optometrist team here at Bayside Eyecare, ideally every year, but more frequently if you have any concerns.

Even if your eyes feel fine and there’s no sign of vision loss, it’s important for anyone with diabetes to schedule a regular checkup to catch the early signs.

Your diabetic eye test may include:

  • Assessing your vision.
  • Checking your prescription if you wear glasses or contact lenses.
  • Taking photos of the inside of your eye (retina).
  • An eye pressure test to detect signs of glaucoma.
  • Examination of the front parts to your eyes
  • Dilating your pupils using drops.

Dilating with drops can make your vision blurry for a few hours after your appointment, so you can ask a family member or friend to drive you home afterwards.

The Bayside Eyecare Difference

Your eyesight is precious, which is why the team at Bayside Eyecare want to make sure your diabetes eye check is comfortable and comprehensive.

Our team of optometrists is qualified and experienced, able to perform a thorough check for diabetic retinopathy, catching  any early signs before they develop. 

You can book a diabetic eye exam by chatting to our friendly team on (03) 9909 5329, or you can make an appointment online using our booking form.