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Diabetic Eye Exams

At Ophthalmology Associates, we are dedicated to caring for your eye health and enhancing your vision. We provide a full range of vision services, including integrated diabetic eye care, in greater St. Louis. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to look after your eyes. It is highly recommended that diabetics have an annual eye exam, though more frequent dilated eye exams may be necessary.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Care

Diabetes is a systemic health condition that can affect different parts of your body, including your eyes. Diabetic eye complications, if left untreated, can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness. That’s why our specialized diabetic eye care services are designed to detect, prevent, and treat diabetic-related eye conditions promptly. Our goal is to preserve your eyesight and enhance your quality of life.

Diabetic Eye Conditions 

For individuals living with diabetes, it is important to understand the potential impact that this condition can have on eye health. Regular dilated eye exams are crucial for early detection and management of the following eye conditions that may be associated with diabetes: 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a common complication for people living with diabetes. This condition occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Over time, these damaged blood vessels may leak or become blocked, leading to vision problems. In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy might not cause noticeable symptoms, but as it progresses, it can cause blurred or distorted vision, dark spots, and even vision loss. To learn more about what sort of diabetic retinopathy symptoms to watch out for, check out our diabetic retinopathy symptoms guide.

Unfortunately, if diabetic retinopathy isn’t caught early enough, it can cause permanent damage. Some treatments  may restore partial vision, but it is important to get frequent comprehensive eye exams, where the doctor dilates your pupils to detect any issues, before vision loss occurs.

Macular Edema 

Macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy that specifically involves the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp and detailed vision. In individuals with diabetes, the blood vessels in the retina can leak fluid, causing the macula to swell and leading to a condition known as macular edema. This can result in blurry or wavy central vision, making tasks like reading, recognizing faces, and driving difficult. 


A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which can lead to blurry or dim vision, increased sensitivity to glare, and difficulty seeing at night. Cataracts are a common age-related eye condition that can affect anyone. However, individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cataracts at an earlier age and experiencing faster progression. 


Glaucoma is a condition characterized by damage to the optic nerve, often due to elevated pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure). People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a specific type of glaucoma known as neovascular glaucoma, which is associated with the growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to gradual peripheral vision loss and, in advanced stages, tunnel vision and blindness.

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a serious and sight-threatening condition that can occur in people living with diabetes, particularly if they have diabetic retinopathy. In diabetic retinopathy, abnormal blood vessels can cause scar tissue to form on the retina. This scar tissue can pull on the retina, leading to retinal detachment, where the retina separates from the underlying tissue. Retinal detachment can cause sudden flashes of light, floaters, and a curtain-like shadow that affects vision. Immediate medical attention is crucial if retinal detachment is suspected, as surgical intervention is often necessary to reattach the retina and prevent permanent vision loss. 

Treatments for Diabetic Eye Conditions

At Ophthalmology Associates, we offer a comprehensive range of diabetic eye care services, from treatment for early-stage diabetic eye disease symptoms to advanced condition management. Our services are tailored to meet your unique needs. We work in collaboration with your other healthcare providers to ensure seamless coordination of your diabetic management.

Diabetic Eye Exams 

Our skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists perform thorough diabetic eye exams, using advanced diagnostic tools to detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, and other related conditions. Diabetic eye exams are typically covered by medical insurance. For more information about payment methods, please contact Ophthalmology Associates.

Advanced Imaging

We utilize state-of-the-art imaging technology to capture detailed images of your retina, allowing us to identify subtle changes and recommend appropriate treatment.

Customized Treatment Plans 

Our expert eye doctors create individualized treatment plans based on the severity of your condition, considering factors such as your overall health, lifestyle, and preferences.

Laser Treatments

We offer leading-edge laser therapies to target abnormal blood vessels and prevent further damage to your retina.

Intravitreal Injections 

Our skilled specialists administer intravitreal injections to deliver precisely targeted medications that can slow down the progression of diabetic eye diseases.

Surgical Expertise

In cases where surgical intervention is necessary, our experienced eye surgeons perform advanced vitrectomy procedures to address complications like severe retinal detachment.

Meet Your St. Louis Diabetic Eye Specialists

Over 30 years of experience.

The eye specialists of Ophthalmology Associates have years of experience helping diabetic patients using the latest in diabetic eye care diagnostic and treatment methods.

Get to know your greater St. Louis diabetic eye doctors, then schedule an appointment at Ophthalmology Associates.

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Contact Us for Your Diabetic Eye Care

Take the first step toward preserving your vision by scheduling a diabetic eye exam appointment. Our dedicated greater St. Louis team is ready to provide you with the top-notch diabetic eye care that you deserve.