Diabetes, Hypertension, and Dilated Eye Exams
- Posted on: Sep 20 2017
Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) affect many people in the US. An estimated 29.1% of all Americans have hypertension and 9.1% have diagnosed diabetes (1-2). These vascular diseases have the potential to permanently impair vision. Patients who know they have diabetes and hypertension can receive proper care to limit visual complications. Unfortunately, many people are not aware they have these conditions.
A dilated eye exam allows doctors to get a direct, non-invasive view of small blood vessels in the retina. Sometimes eye care professionals are the first to see changes with these blood vessels-change that may due to diabetes or hypertension. Early detection of these diseases help to preserve vision. In early stages of these conditions, vision may not (yet) be affected. Regular eye examinations become increasingly important for older patients, as these conditions become increasingly more common. Patients older than 40 should have a baseline dilated eye exam, if not previously examined, and patients 65 and older typically should have a dilated exam each year.
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