Can opticians (optometrists) detect diabetes?

A routine eye exam can reveal such a variety of potentially life-saving things. Many people today are living with type 2 diabetes without even knowing it when a simple trip to the opticians could actually be the first step towards detecting the problem.

One major danger with diabetes is that there are often few signs of the disease until it reaches a later stage, so it is, therefore, important to get your eyes tested on a regular basis.

How Diabetes is Detected

Opticians are trained to look out for signs of diabetes during regular eye examinations. A general eye exam can reveal problems in the eyes that could indicate early warning signs of diabetes. For example, your optician may detect small drops of blood or unusual fluids in the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball that forms visual images). If your optician finds these fluids are found then they will advise you to seek more serious testing from a doctor who will then be able to determine diabetes diagnosis.

Why It’s Important to Detect Diabetes Early

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye condition that can occur as a result of diabetes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessel and if left untreated it can lead to total permanent blindness. Therefore diabetes should be treated as soon as it is detected; with thorough monitoring, this can reduce the risk of vision loss by as much as 95%. It is therefore recommended that you have a routine eye exam at least once every two years regardless of whether or not you feel that you are suffering from any conditions.


Always consult a qualified optometrist to confirm a diagnosis!

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