Monday, January 5, 2009
Medical Reports: Diagnosing Diabetes
Your vision suddenly changes, then gets worse, so you immediately think your eyes are to blame, but it could be caused by a bigger problem going on in your body. Seven's Richard Lemus shows how a trip to the eye doctor can help in Diagnosing Diabetes.
WSVN -- Teaching journalism is Neil Reisner's passion, but recently the professor found it difficult to get through a lecture.
Neil Reisner: "Suddenly, I developed this major thirst. No matter how much I drank I could not quench my thirst."
Then something worse happened, his vision suddenly started to go.
Neil Reisner: "My students were blurry, the board was blurry."
When Neil finally went to his optometrist, he got a surprising diagnosis. The root of the problem wasn't his eyes; it was diabetes.
Neil Reisner: "Still, to this day, it amuses me that my diabetes was diagnosed by my eye doctor."
Changes in your vision can often tip off your optometrist to deeper problems in the body.
Dr. Kay: "One of the earliest changes that we can pick up before routine medical testing is a sudden change in prescription. A patient will come in and notice their distance vision has gotten worse."
Then, some simple medical questions can help confirm the possibility of diabetes.
Dr. Kay: "Have they been thirsty, unquenchable thirst, or have they been urinating a lot?"
Lastly, doctors can dilate your eyes to get a better picture of what your retina looks like. Some docs even have this new technology called the Optomap, which offers an even bigger picture of the back of the eye.
Dr. Kay: "We also spend a lot of time looking inside the eye, at the small blood vessels. It's the only place in the body we can actually look at the blood vessels naturally. In diabetics, many times we will see little leaks called dot hemorrhages."
If not caught early enough, diabetes can lead to blindness, so once you've been diagnosed, an annual eye exam is a must.
Dr. Kay: "The CDC is predicting by 2050, we'll be seeing three times the rate of diabetic related eye problems, so that's petty huge."
Neil's medical doctor confirmed he had diabetes, and he's now treating it with medication. Neil's vision loss has been reversed.
Neil Reisner: "After I got my blood sugar down, I could see again and life was wonderful."
Richard Lemus: "Optometrists will usually send you straight to a medical doctor to confirm the diagnosis, and it's crucial to get a yearly eye exam to make sure your vision is not being permanently damaged."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Barry Kay
2011 Harrison St.
Hollywood, FL 33020