Importance of Diabetic Eye Exams

Published on
June 9, 2022

In 2019, 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes. 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. In Los Angeles County almost 20% of those ages 40-59 and almost 30% of those over 60 are diabetic. 

Diabetes occurs when your body doesn't process blood sugar, otherwise known as glucose, an important source of energy. In general, glucose is derived from the food we eat and is carried through the bloodstream. Pancreas releases insulin as soon as blood sugar levels rise, as this hormone converts sugar into energy. Diabetes impairs this process, causing damage to many parts of the body including the eyes. Several eye problems can be caused by diabetes, including cataracts, blurry vision, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. 

Why is it necessary to have regular eye exams every year if you have Diabetes?

Everyone with diabetes should have an eye exam every year.The most significant concern with diabetes is to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss by keeping constant check that there is no cellular damage.  This takes place mainly to check the health of the eye itself, since the eye has a vasculature that delivers oxygen to the retina. When your vasculature is damaged in any way, which is caused by high sugar levels, it can further damage your vision if you don't control it. That's why it's so important to check it every year. 

Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can actually help stabilise or decrease any progression of the retina or the vasculature of the retina. However, Dr. Wolff always recommends her patients to talk to their primary care physician to see if that is something they would recommend for them. It's one thing that you would do even before you see any changes on the retina. Additionally, it is helpful to know where your sugar levels are because they do fluctuate throughout the day. When either it's too high all the time or fluctuates too much, then it essentially weakens those vessels. That's when they begin to leak fluids and sometimes blood. 

How important is it to take photos of the retina during a Diabetic Retinopathy Exam?

At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, we do a yearly diabetic dilation exam with high definition retinal photos to document good results or bad results and then show our patients what we see. We can show the patient those photos, which is great for documentation and education. It can be more profound to the patient when they witness changes in their retina. This also allows us to monitor it and to communicate with their primary care physician. So it is a good advantage to have. 

Why should you check your sugar levels more often if you have Diabetes?

Diabetes is fairly common, but the key is to catch it early and to understand how your body reacts to sugar. It is such an individual condition that what works for one person may not work for another. Dr. Wolff always tells her patients that when they have diabetes, it really is about learning how they react to different types of sugars, which is why it is so important to constantly check their blood sugar levels throughout the day.


Contact us for a Diabetic Eye Exam in Los Angeles

If you or your loved one has diabetes, the experienced eye care team at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach can help. You can contact us at (562) 925-6591 to schedule a dilated diabetic eye exam and retinal imagery.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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