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Diabetic Eye Care In Lakeville, MN

Diabetes can cause severe vision problems. That’s why diabetes patients require specialized diabetic vision care to prevent eye damage and vision loss that all too often occurs as a result of diabetes. Lakeville Family Eye Care is the premier eye clinic for diabetes vision care in Lakeville. We provide rigorous, compassionate diabetic eye care to diabetic patients throughout the Lakeville area.

Our powerhouse team of optometrists is dedicated to providing the highest quality eye care services possible. No matter the severity of your diabetes, we want you seeing your best for years to come. Our professionalism and dedication to our patients are what has made Lakeville the preferred eye care choice for patients with diabetes.

How Does Diabetes Effect Your Eyes And Vision?

Diabetes is a condition which describes an imbalance of the hormone insulin in the body, which regulates the level of sugar in the bloodstream. Diabetes results when the pancreas fails to produce enough (or sometimes any) insulin, or when the body does not respond appropriately to diabetes.

If you have diabetes, it is essential that you manage the condition proactively to stay healthy. When it comes to your vision, don’t take chances! Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74.

High Blood Glucose & Vision

Consistently high blood sugar levels very often result in a number of very serious vision conditions. This includes diabetic retinopathy, an irreversible and devastating and vision disease. Additionally, individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. Due to the greatly increased risks of eye disease and vision loss, an annual or even semi-annual diabetic eye exam is essential for individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, having a regular exam is vital to retaining your vision.

why do i need a diabetic eye exam

Why Do I Need a Diabetic Eye Exam

There are a number of reasons that an annual diabetic eye exam is critical for diabetes patients. First of all, diabetes changes constantly, which means that your blood-sugar levels are typically in flux. High-blood sugar can be devastating to your eyes and your vision. A diabetes eye exam is the only way to keep track of your eye and vision health and to prevent blindness. Diabetic eye disease often does not cause any serious pain, vision disturbance, or noticeable symptoms in the initial stages. You can develop early-stage diabetic eye disease without even knowing it. Often, symptoms only appear once permanent damage has been done. Early detection through a diabetic eye exam is the only way to ensure timely treatment and prevent further disease progression. If you have diabetes, the best thing that you can do for your eyes is a regular diabetic eye exam. Let your eye doctor help you prevent vision loss and blindness.

what is a diabetic eye exam

What Is a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Diabetic eye exams are essential for patients with diabetes. They allow for early detection of serious eye diseases before irreversible damage occurs. The early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy may not cause noticeable changes in vision but once vision is lost it usually can’t be restored.

Routine comprehensive eye exams for diabetes will allow the optometrist to detect the problem on time. Specialized lenses and lights will be used to examine the front of your eyes to help detect the condition and provide adequate treatment to prevent the eye condition from worsening.

Always remember to tell your eye doctor that you have diabetes BEFORE any eye exam.

If you are a diabetic patient, it is essential that you visit an eye doctor regularly. When you come to our diabetes vision care center in Lakeville, our experienced optometrists, Dr. Andrew Mattson and Dr. Andrew Mattson have the expertise and experience to carefully look for any signs of eye disease and provide preventative and proactive treatment. We provide diabetic eye care services that are second to none.

dilated eye exam

Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is used to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy and other eye conditions. During the test, the eye doctor will apply drops to your eyes. The drops will dilate or widen your pupils. By dilating your pupils, the optometrist will be able to see the inside of your eyes more easily and clearly. Specifically, the eye doctor will check for damage to your blood vessels and nerves. After dilating your eyes, the optometrist will carry out any of the following diagnostic tests:

Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT provides a cross-sectional image of the eyes, allowing the eye doctor to see clear and comprehensive details of your eyes. The image will also reveal the thickness of your retina and where fluids may leak from damaged nerves and blood vessels.

Fluorescein Angiography

Fluorescein Angiography

While your eyes remain dilated, the optometrist will inject your arm with a special dye that will enter your bloodstream. The dye will highlight the blood vessels at the back of the eye and photograph them so the doctor will be able to identify blood vessels that are blocked or leaking.

Get A Diabetic Eye Exam Today!

Do you have diabetes? Don’t wait until you have vision problems as that is usually far too late. Visit our diabetic vision specialists in Lakeville today. At Lakeville Family Eye Care, our optometrists have extensive experience providing state-of-the-are diabetic eye exams to identify and manage your diabetics and preserve your vision. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Are Diabetic Eye Exams Covered By Medical Insurance?

Yes. It is surprising that many people are not aware that their insurance covers annual diabetic eye exams. In fact, the figures of people who don’t take advantage of this are quite alarming. According to a new study, nearly 60% of individuals with diabetes skip the exam for a variety of reasons. Considering the potential dreadful consequences of skipping the exam and the fact that the test is often covered by medical insurance, these numbers are shocking.

Don’t be part of the 60% of diabetic patients that are not using their medical insurance benefits which cover a diabetic eye exam every year.

Eye Diseases And Conditions Caused By Diabetes

Blurry Vision from Diabetes

High blood sugar is known to cause blurry vision. Excess blood sugar can make the lens of your eyes swell, which alters your ability to see clearly. Because the issue is fundamental to how the eye processes visual information, purchasing new eyeglasses or using contacts cannot improve this condition. The best way to correct it is by getting your blood sugar level back to the target range (70 – 130 mg/dL).

Diabetic Retinopathy

High blood sugar directly causes Diabetic Retinopathy. Here, the small blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to the high levels of sugar in the blood. If not treated early, it can lead to blindness. However, if you can control your blood sugar, you can reduce your chances of having Diabetic Retinopathy as well.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a common complication from diabetes. DME is swelling due to a buildup of fluid in a particular area of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for sharp, front vision so DME will cause a distortion of central vision. DME is one of the leading causes of vision loss in diabetic patients.

Diabetic Macular Edema can be hard to diagnose, even by retinal specialists. At Lakeville Family Eye Care, we use high-resolution Optical Coherence Tomography scans (OCT) to ensure the most accurate diagnosis possible.


Just like a camera, the lens of the eye helps us to see and focus on objects in front of us. Cataracts can cloud the lens with a film that blocks effective vision. Diabetics have an increased likelihood of developing cataracts. When the lens becomes cloudy, you may be unable to focus on images. Eye surgery will be required to remove the cataract. During the surgery, the eye surgeon will replace your cloudy lens with a clear, artificial one.


The inability of fluid to drain properly can cause pressure to build up inside the eye. As a result, the blood vessels and nerves become damaged, thus, affecting the patient’s vision. Some symptoms of glaucoma include headaches, eye aches, pain, blurred vision, watery eyes, and vision loss.  

Cornea Alterations

Diabetes can also bring about a decrease in the sensitivity of the cornea. Here, the lens becomes easily irritated and will be more prone to infections. If you use contacts, you need to be very cautious. Laser treatment procedures are often used to correct the altered cornea and increase sensitivity.

Eye Muscle Disturbance

During the advanced stages of diabetes, patients can experience restriction in the eye muscle movement. This is caused by nerve palsy as the nerves become weak. Patients may require surgery or Botox injections to strengthen the eye muscles.

If you have diabetes or are concerned that you may have any of these conditions, do not hesitate to visit our optometrists at Lakeville Family Eye Care.  

How Can I Tell If Diabetes Is Affecting My Eyes?

As diabetes begins to affect your eyes, you will notice swelling, watery eyes, and blurry vision. Once you observe any of these symptoms, see your eye doctor immediately.

Diagnosis And Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy In Lakeville

Diabetic Retinopathy is one the most common and serious conditions resulting from diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy affects diabetic patients who have a high blood-sugar level over extended periods of time. This damages the small blood vessels in the back of the eye, which then leak, thicken, and clot. This can cause severe damage, including a dire deficiency of oxygen and nutrients getting to the retina, which they can no longer function properly. Over time, the retina will lose its blood supply. Meanwhile, the eye will try to grow new blood vessels, which are usually weak and deformed. The new blood vessels will bleed, and leak into the retina. which can cause impaired vision, retinal detachment, and hemorrhages. This can cause a secondary condition called Macular Edema, which results in blurry vision.

In order to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema, it’s essential that you book a diabetic eye exam at regular intervals—at the very least once a year.

older woman and daughter
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

More often than not, there are little to no initial symptoms beyond possible some minor vision problems. This is what makes this condition so dangerous to your sight. When unchecked, diabetic retinopathy will cause serious eye damage. Therefore, routine eye exams for diabetes are important to be able to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy at its early stages.

Some symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include:

  • Distorted or blurred vision;
  • Problems reading or driving due to loss of central vision;
  • Black spots or “holes” in vision;
  • Problems distinguishing colors;
  • Light flashes in your field of vision;
  • Partial or complete loss of vision;
  • Pain and discomfort in the eye.

If you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your eye doctor immediately. As a diabetic, you need adequate preventative vision care for diabetes to improve your vision and prevent permanent eye damage.

 woman with glasses smiling
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

Our eye doctors will dilate your pupils to check for changes in the blood vessels, as well as to see if new blood vessels have grown. They will also check to see if the retina is swollen or detached.

child with diabetes
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy (and diabetes in general) require ongoing management and supervision with an optometrist in order to prevent further complications or vascular changes. Our Lakeville eye doctors specialize in ongoing management and treatment of diabetic vision conditions. If diabetic retinopathy develops, our eye optometrists may also recommend further intervention, which can include laser and surgical procedures.

Laser Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

Laser treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy is referred to as laser photocoagulation. In this procedure, a laser will be applied to seal or destroy the leaking or deformed blood vessels. This reduces the swelling in the retina and is usually not painful, although it can negatively affect night vision and the ability to see various colors. The number of treatments required will depend on the type and severity of the condition.



In cases of diabetic retinopathy, blood often leaks into the retina of they and also into something called the vitreous humor—the vitreous, or gel-like substance in the eye. This results in cloudy vision. When this occurs, our eye doctors will recommend a vitrectomy. This surgical procedure aims to drain this blood and clean out scar tissue. The vitreous fluid is sometimes replaced with a substitute fluid.

It takes a competent optometrist to effectively assess the extent of your diabetic retinopathy and make the appropriate recommendations and referrals to a surgeon to proceed. You diabetic eye doctor will provide the diagnosis, recommendation, and also your pre- and postoperative care and ongoing management.

Visit our diabetic vision care center at Lakeville Family Eye Care for advanced diabetic vision care in Lakeville. Dr. Andrew Mattson or another member of our diabetic eye care staff will perform a comprehensive eye exam for diabetes to detect the presence and severity of any vision conditions. In addition, he will recommend suitable treatment options.

Is Diabetic Retinopathy Curable?

Diabetic Retinopathy cannot be cured. However, the eye condition can be managed through consistent supervision and an ongoing effort to control your blood glucose levels.