I didn't realize how timely my recent dilated eye exam was until I read the HealthCentral article regarding November, as Diabetes Awareness Month, being an appropriate time to get the annual check-up. For me, my wedding anniversary just so happened to mark the time to have my optical health checked.
My husband and I have had annual eye exams together since we were engaged. Our optometrist has Saturday hours so it's now a big family event to go see the eye doctor. This year I tried on cute glasses and joked that I hoped this was the year I'd start needing reading glasses or computer glasses. I love how they look, but other than the 6 months prior to my diabetes diagnoses, I've never needed corrective lenses. A girl can dream though, right?
At my appointment last year, I was 8 months pregnant and my vision was slightly impacted. Apparently, it's normal for women to become near-sighted during pregnancy. Compared to last year, my vision was improved this year, back to better than 20/20. Sigh. No glasses this year.
But, for those of us with diabetes, the more medically significant portion of the annual eye exam is the evaluation of the blood vessels in our eyes; thus the need a full dilated examination. Once I understood the relationship between blood sugar control and the health of the blood vessels in my eyes, I felt a sense of accomplishment and relief when the doctor exclaimed, "Those are some great looking blood vessels!" (I have a very outgoing and enthusiastic optometrist).
Whether your blood sugar control is where you want it or a work in progress, having your eyes checked is an important preventative step in keeping diabetes complications at bay. In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, why not make November the time to ensure your eyes stay healthy for another year?