Month: August 2023

Diabetes and Your Eyes

Diabetes affects 11.3% of the United States population. That is around 37.3 million people. According to the CDC 8.5 million people who have diabetes, haven’t been diagnosed yet. With these high numbers, we wanted to bring some attention to how diabetes can affect your eye’s.

When someone has diabetes, there are a group of eye problems that can affect them. This group of problems is called diabetic eye disease.

What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

If you have diabetes, over time the disease can damage your eyes. It can cause poor vision or even blindness in extreme cases. Some of the conditions that are known to affect people with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy – this is when blood vessels in the back of the eye can weaken, bulge or leak into the retina. If it worsens, some blood vessels an even close off.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema – this is when diabetes causes swelling in the macula (part of your retina) and the swelling can cause partial vision loss or blindness.
  • Cataracts – this is when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This can happen in younger people who have diabetes.
  • Glaucoma – this refers to a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Diabetes doubles the changes of having glaucoma.

It is possible to prevent diabetic eye disease if you catch the issue early. The best way to keep your diabetes from affecting your eyes is to manage it well. Some ways you can manage your diabetes is to:

  • Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking
  • Have a dilated eye exam every year

In some cases, you won’t be able to tell eye damage is occurring, so it is important to get a yearly dilated eye exam so an eye doctor can identify damage before the symptoms start.

How does diabetes affect your eyes?

The biggest issue for your eyes when you have diabetes, is when your blood glucose stays high over longer periods of time. If this occurs, it can damage the small blood vessels in the back of your eyes. This damage can start during pre diabetes, when blood glucose is higher than it usually is but not so high that you are diagnosed. Damaged blood vessels can leak fluid that causes swelling in your eye.

What are some of the symptoms?

In many cases there are no early symptoms of diabetic eye disease. When there are symptoms they can include:

  • frequently changing vision
  • poor color vision
  • flashes of light
  • blurry or wavy vision
  • dark areas or vision loss
  • spots or dark strings (floaters)

Is there treatment?

An eye doctor will perform a dilated eye exam in order to diagnose you with diabetic eye disease. This is the only way to know for sure.

Once diagnosed, you and your eye doctor will determine the best course of action to treat your symptoms. In many cases, this will be primarily to manage or control your diabetes. If you can focus on keeping your blood glucose as a normal level, this will help tremendously with your eye health.

In other circumstances there may be a medicine, laser treatment or even surgery needed to help you gain your vision back.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, we want to encourage you to own your health. Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way with managing diabetes, or diabetic eye disease.

Regular doctor appointments, including Eye Exams will help to identify issues early so you can hopefully ward off any damage later in life.

Contacts vs Glasses

So you have gone to the eye doctor and they have diagnosed you as needing vision correction. Once you have come to this realization you will see that you now have two options to choose from. You can either choose eyeglasses or contact lenses to help correct your vision.

It is important to know that this decision does not have a right or wrong answer, it is usually a matter of prefrence. We just like to keep our patients informed so they can make the best decision for themselves. Hopefully you will come away from this article with a better understanding of what will work better for you

Eye Glasses

Some of the great things about glasses are:

  • They are easy to clean and store
  • They don’t need to be replaced often
  • You don’t have to touch your eyes to wear them
  • There are many frame styles to choose from
  • Lenses are customizable
  • They offer another layer of protection from the elements

Some of the things that aren’t so great about glasses are:

  • They can be more expensive if you need to replace them
  • They can be uncomfortable
  • They don’t cover your entire field of vision
  • Some people don’t like the way the look in them
  • The lenses can fog up or get smudged


Some great things about contacts are:

  • They are less noticeable
  • They give you more freedom of movement
  • They allow you to wear non prescription sunglasses
  • They are less obstructive of your vision
  • They are less expensive to replace

Some not so great things about contacts are:

  • They have a stricter cleaning and storage regimen than glasses
  • Touching your eye to put them in or take them out can be hard
  • If you don’t follow the care rules, it can result in eye health issues
  • They might not help ward off computer eye strain

Can you wear both?

The short answer is yes! A way for you to get the best of both words would be to have the option to wear contacts when you want to and wear glasses when you want to. This way you can benefit from all the great things both have to offer but avoid any of the negative things.

We have a current special running that could help you achieve this. If you purchase a years supply of contact lenses you will also get 50% off complete eye glasses as well as a FREE pair of polarized sunglasses.

We offer the the Acuvue Oasis 1-Day contacts, which can be helpful to ward off computer eye strain issues. These lenses help to keep eyes consistently hydrated.

Which do you prefer?

Now that we have laid out all the good and the bad, let us know which you prefer. Come visit us at TriCounty Eye Associates to pick out your next pair of glasses or order your next shipment of contacts!

Back To School Eye Exams

Back to school is upon us! There is always so much to remember about back to school. Meet the teacher, school supplies, new clothes, new books, sometimes the list can feel overwhelming. One thing we want to be sure doesn’t get left off the list is making your kids eye appointments before they go back to school.

There are so many reasons to make sure you are getting regular eye exams but it is especially important for kids to get their exams each school year so that they can avoid any issues while trying to learn.

When should Kids start exams?

It is recommended that kids start getting eye exams as early as six months old. This can help to ensure their eyes are developing normally. As they get older, yearly exams will help to identify any developmental issues or long term problems that may need correction.

Ages 2 to 5 years old eye exams are testing for:

  • Visual acuity
  • Lazy eye
  • Stereopsis
  • Eye tracking
  • Convergence
  • Color Vision
  • Ocular Health

It is important to monitor these skills because they are imperative for learning and success at school.

As kids grow their eye exams will change to focus on different aspects of vision. The skills tested for kids ages 6 to 18 are:

  • Visual Acuity – the ability to see clearly in the distance, up close, and at an intermediate distance.
  • Eye Focusing – maintaining clear vision when changing focus from far away to up close.
  • Eye Tracking – keeping eyes on target if they are looking from one object to another.
  • Eye Teaming – this is the coordination of both eyes to work together ad to judge distances.
  • Eye-hand coordination – this is the ability to direct hands by using visual information.
  • Vision Perception – this is the ability to understand and remember when they read by organizing images into letters.

Why are exams so important for kids?

It is important for any vision problems to be diagnosed as early as possible to set children up for success at school. Yearly exams will help to do this. Sometimes learning disabilities can be mis-diagnosed when the real problem is a vision impairment.

This can help your child learn and progress better than if these possible issues are left undetected. We recommend using the start of school as a good reminder to schedule an exam. This helps to identify any potential issues before the school year begins and make sure your child is set up for success each and every year.

Call us today to schedule your child’s yearly exam!

 Moncks Corner Location

North Charleston Location