What To Expect At An Eye Exam If You're Diabetic | Complete Eye Care

What To Expect At An Eye Exam If You’re Diabetic

A patient having their eyes examined

Do you have diabetes? Are you concerned about the health of your eyes?

When you have diabetes, one of the most important things you can do is keep it under control. You need to continue to manage your blood sugar levels to help prevent other conditions from developing.

One part of your body that diabetes can affect are your eyes. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect at an eye exam if you’re a diabetic!

What is a diabetic eye exam?

During a diabetic eye exam, your doctor will conduct a detailed evaluation of your eye. They will look at your retina and other parts of your eye that diabetes can impact.

What happens during a diabetic eye exam?

This depends on what your doctor thinks is medically necessary and determines what happens during a diabetic eye exam. Here are different tests that can be performed during a diabetic eye exam:

Vision Test:

Diabetes can impact how clearly you see. Evaluating your vision is important during a diabetic eye exam.

Your doctor will look for any vision changes. If your vision has decreased, then they may perform a refraction test to see how much your prescription has changed.

This will give them a good understanding of what your vision will be like with a new prescription.

Pupil Dilation:

During your eye exam, your doctor will dilate your eyes with eye drops. This lets your doctor see the back of your eye and look for damage from diabetes occurring on your retina.

Eye drops for pupil dilation typically take about 20 minutes to dilate your eyes. This can last for several hours.

Ophthalmoscopy or Fundoscopy:

This is the examination of the back of your eye. Your doctor looks at the retina and blood vessels that connect to the retina and optic nerve.

Your doctor will either shine light directly, indirectly, or with a slit lamp to look at the back of your eye.

Fundus Photography:

This is a special kind of photography that uses wide-angle photographs to see the back of your eye. This helps document any changes to your retina and blood vessels.

What conditions do eye doctors look for?

During a diabetic eye exam, your doctor is looking for different signs that eye conditions are developing due to diabetes. Some of the conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataracts.

How often do I need to get an eye exam?

The frequency that you need to get eye exams depends on what your eye doctor recommends. This frequency may change depending on what kind of diabetes you have.

If you are an adult with Type 1 diabetes, you should have at least one exam within the first five years of being diagnosed with diabetes. You should then have an eye exam annually every year after that.

But for adults with Type 2 diabetes, you should get an eye exam as close to your day of diagnosis as possible.

If you are a woman with diabetes and are planning on getting pregnant, then you need to consult with your eye doctor. Your doctor will have to determine the frequency that you’ll need eye exams during your pregnancy.

Do you have diabetes and need to get your vision checked? Schedule an appointment at Complete EyeCare West in Columbus, OH with one of our talented ophthalmologists to get an eye exam!

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