If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, regular eye exams are essential for your ongoing health care plan. Retinopathy is a risk with fluctuating blood sugar levels, and regular appointments with an eye doctor are key to detecting retinopathy in the earliest stages.
Here are a few things that you can expect when you visit an eye doctor for a diabetes eye examination:
The eye doctor will start by asking questions about your health history, including any recent changes that you are experiencing. Not only should you share information about current medications, but also provide details about how your diabetes is being managed and any associated symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
The eye doctor will assess your vision during the appointment by asking you to look at an eye chart. This process helps to determine if you have any changes in your near or far vision. If changes are happening, then a new prescription can be provided for glasses or contact lenses.
Generally, we don’t find it necessary to dilate the eyes during the first diabetic eye exam. Instead, we examine the retina using a retinal photo which allows us to look for the earliest signs of retinopathy. If the eye doctor identifies signs of retinopathy, you might be scheduled to come in for a follow-up examination that includes eye dilation.
Different types of tools can be used to get a closer look at your eye health, including a slit lamp, ophthalmoscope, or fluorescein angiography, which shows the function and structure of the blood vessels within the retinal area.
Each patient is unique, which is why the diabetic eye examinations are customized based on the individual health concerns of every person. Your eye doctor will begin the examination, then provide recommendations for other tests or treatments if they notice signs of diabetic eye disease.
If there are no signs of diabetic retinopathy, then standard follow-up appointments are helpful to re-check the condition of your retina. On the other hand, if you’ve had diabetes for a long time and there are signs of retinopathy, the doctor might recommend more intensive testing and treatments.
For more information about diabetic eye exams and other eye care services, reach out to our team at your convenience. Contact our Temecula Creek Optometry team today for a consultation: (951) 302 -1331.