While we specialize in eliminating eye problems, the eyes are really a reflection of your overall health status. In this summary we focus on diabetes. The eyes can be a reflection of diabetic control and care. People with diabetes need to be active participants in their medical care to know what excellent diabetic care looks like. Here are some things you should look for –whether you are newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for awhile:
What tests to do when
Below are tests everyone with diabetes should have, when they should have them and what the target results are.
Key Diabetes Tests
Test Frequency Target
Hemoglobin A1c 2-4 times yearly Under 7
HDL cholesterol Yearly Over 45
LDL cholesterol Yearly Under 100
Triglycerides Yearly Under 150
Blood Pressure At least 2x yearly Less than 130/80
Microalbumin Yearly Under 30
Eye exam Yearly Discuss problems
Foot exam At east visit Discuss problems
If the doctor says test results are good, but doesn’t say what the actual results are, ask. Compare what is said with the results above. If the doctor has different target levels than those listed (which is certainly possible for various medical reasons), ask why. Both Optos retinal imaging and dilated retinal exams have been proven effective in monitoring the retina for diabetic changes. Our doctors make it a point to discuss your retinal findings with you. There are other eye changes that can result more often in our patients with diabetes. However, as a general rule, the better you maintain your systemic diabetic health, the fewer eye complications you will have.