Most doctors suggest that people get an eye exam at least once a year if they have diabetes. An eye doctor will be able to give you a dilated eye exam and check for diseases that might be developing such as diabetic retinopathy, DME, glaucoma, and cataract.
The American Diabetes Association suggests that you keep a close watch on your blood sugar and keep it under control. This will lower your risk of developing eye diseases (ADA, 2015).
You have a lot of control over the disease if you make healthy lifestyle choices.
The ADA suggests that you also keep your blood pressure under control and quit smoking (ADA, 2015).
When it comes to eye exams, you need to see a professional. The ADA states: “Only optometrists and ophthalmologists can detect the signs of retinopathy. Only ophthalmologists can treat retinopathy” (ADA, 2015).
Therefore, make sure you are scheduling the proper eye appointments and attending them once or twice a year. If you are pregnant or you have started to develop a disease, you should go in more frequently.
When you go into an eye exam, you will normally have to fill out paperwork at the beginning. Make sure to have your insurance card and any other necessary information ready.
After this, your eye doctor will have you take a vision test. This will normally consist of you reading off a list of numbers and letters on a chart from 20 feet away.
After you go through this part, you will start the external exam. This is when the doctor will inspect your eye with a flashlight to look for any additional issues there might be.
Next, you will probably have to rest your face on a slit lamp. This is when you put your chin on a chinrest and your face against a strap while some light shines into your eyes. This helps the doctor get a great view of parts like your cornea and lens.
Next, your doctor could possibly use an opthalmoscope to check your retina and its condition.
Your doctor will normally and should dilate your eyes to complete these exams.
The eye doctor will also have you take a glaucoma test. This is the machine that puffs air into your eye to see the amount of pressure there is. This test is very important and should be done regularly.
He or she should also to check for cataract. This is a cloudiness that happens over the lens of your eye. It develops over time, and it is possible to get surgery to remove it successfully.
The main thing that your doctor should be looking for is signs of diabetic retinopathy. It is the leading cause of blindness among adults.
They should check the blood vessels in your eye to see if you might need surgery to stop any progression.
If you have diabetes, it is important that you see an ophthalmologist or optometrist at least once a year. Get tested for eye diseases, so you can prevent potential blindness.
American Diabetes Association. (2015). Eye care. American Diabetes Association. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/eye-care.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/eye-care.html
Randall, H.G. (2015). What to expect at your eye exam. Madavor Media, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/what-to-expect-at-your-eye-exam/