It's extremely important that you visit your eye doctor at least once a year if you are diagnosed with diabetes and receive a dilated eye exam. Diabetes can manifest in various ways inside your eye, causing various complications depending on the severity, how long you've had it, and how well it's controlled. Therefore, it is important to have an eye doctor examine your eyes and make sure there are no abnormal changes.

What does a diabetic eye exam consist of?

A diabetic eye exam involves several steps, which are described below

Visual acuity

A typical eye exam would start off with your eye doctor checking your vision, they would examine your eye muscles, check your side vision, and then they would check your prescription to determine if you need any adjustments to your glasses or contact lenses. In other words, if your diabetes is not controlled, you may find that your eye prescription becomes more minus in power. In that case, it may be best to hold off on prescribing these glasses, since your prescription may fluctuate again in a few months once you have better control of your diabetes and blood sugar levels. And then they don't want you to have gotten those pair of glasses unnecessarily.

Examining the front part of the eye

During the diabetic eye exam an important aspect is examining the front part of your eye under a microscope to make sure that there are no new blood vessels growing in the front part of your eye. Diabetes is caused by a lot of sugar inside of the blood vessels that your body is unable to properly use. As a result, the blood vessels may become weak and brittle, and they may break, causing new blood vessels to grow. These new blood vessels grow because oxygen can reach certain areas. New blood vessels, however, are not healthy for your eyes, and they may reduce your vision.

Why is it important to test for Glaucoma if you have diabetes?

Diabetes can cause other eye conditions like glaucoma which can result from new blood vessels growing on the drainage area inside your eye. The eye doctor will test for increased pressure, which is associated with glaucoma.

Why is it important to test for Cataracts if you have diabetes?

The eye doctor will also examine you for cataracts, as diabetes can accelerate the development of cataracts.


An annual eye exam is essential to make sure your diabetes does not progress to diabetic retinopathy

Additionally, they make sure you don't have diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. If you have mild or moderate diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctor may wish to see you every six months or even every three to four months instead of every year. Whatever the case may be, make sure you visit your eye doctor as soon as possible if you have diabetes so that they can properly manage and treat your condition.

Fluorescein angiography

Fluorescein is injected into your arm and travels through your bloodstream to your eyes. Fluorescein is used to highlight any abnormalities in your eye's blood vessels to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

Optical coherence tomography is used to image the back of the eye. It shows the retina in its various layers and the presence of abnormal fluid or other abnormalities can be found. It is also used to monitor the effects of treatment. Our office is equipped with a state of the art OCT machine, which enables our eye doctors to take high resolution images that indicate clearly when your diabetes is putting your vision at risk. Learn more about OCT.

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