Diabetic Eyes

Kevin D. Gunnerson, O.D.

Optometrist located in Moberly, MO

Diabetes isn’t an easy condition to deal with, largely because of the complications that come with the disease. And some of those complications can have a serious impact on your vision. At Dr. Kevin Gunnerson’s practice, he helps his diabetic patients in Moberly, Missouri, stay one step ahead of their eye health through vigilant monitoring and early intervention. If you have diabetes, good eye care is imperative. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Diabetic Eyes Q & A



What do diabetic eyes mean?

No matter what type of diabetes you have, the end result is that your body struggles to regulate its blood sugar levels. While most people assume that managing diabetes only entails a strict diet, there’s much more to it than that. Diabetes can cause widespread nerve and circulation problems, and your eyes can fall prey to the resulting damage.

Called diabetic retinopathy, the condition is caused when high blood sugar damages the highly sensitive blood vessels in your retina. With high blood sugar, these vessels can swell or leak, hampering blood flow to vital areas within your eyes.

As the disease progresses, blood flow to your macula is disrupted and your retina and macula swell causing vision loss. New abnormal blood vessels may develop and bleed out, creating spots or floaters in your vision. As these changes progress, they can block your vision entirely.

If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can also lead to glaucoma, as pressure builds up inside your eye and permanently damages your optic nerve.


What happens at a diabetic eye exam?

The trick to managing your eyesight when you have diabetes is to see Dr. Gunnerson regularly for a comprehensive eye exam.

At your diabetic eye exam, Dr. Gunnerson dilates your pupils so he can get a better view inside in order to check for:

  • Abnormal blood vessels
  • Swelling or deposits around your retina
  • New blood vessels or developing scar tissue
  • Intraocular bleeding
  • Retinal detachment


Dr. Gunnerson also injects your blood with a dye so he can take pictures of the flow through your blood vessels with retinal photography to catch any vessels that may be blocked.

Dr. Gunnerson also performs a pressure check of your eyes during the exam to detect any signs of glaucoma.


How are diabetic eye problems treated?

The answer to this largely depends upon the stage of your eye problems. If you’re showing early signs, your best treatment option is to manage your diabetes better and have Dr. Gunnerson keep a close watch on your eyes with regular exams.

If your diabetic eye problems are more advanced, you may require laser surgery to stop any bleeding or to remove or shrink the affected blood vessels.

Ultimately, your best treatment tool is your regular diabetic eye exam with Dr. Gunnerson, so call today to get started, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.