How Is Diabetic Eye Disease Diagnosed?

Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 11/14/2016

slit-lamp-exam.pngDiabetic eye disease often goes undiagnosed in its early stages due to a patient's failure to attend an annual eye exam. In an ideal world, everyone would faithfully attend a yearly eye exam. The dilated portion of the eye exam provides an excellent opportunity to diagnose diabetic eye disease.

About The Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam involves placing drops in the eyes to dilate the pupils. Dilated pupils allow the doctor to obtain a better view of the interior portion of the eyes. Though these drops have the potential to cause the patient's vision to become fuzzy, the effect will eventually dissipate in a few hours.

During the eye exam, the eye doctor will look for new or abnormal blood vessels, scar tissue, bleeding in the vitreous portion of the eye, oddities in the optic nerve and retinal detachment. The eye doctor will also check the retina for blood, swelling and fatty deposits. The intentional dilation of the eyes also presents the eye doctor with the opportunity to take pictures of the eye interior.

Slit-Lamp Exam

A specialized microscope is used during the slit-lamp exam to study the eye for signs of diabetic eye disease. This analysis covers the retina, optic nerve, lens, anterior chamber, iris, conjunctiva, cornea and sclera.

Optical Coherence Tomography

Another component of the diabetic eye disease screening is optical coherence tomography (OCT). This is a non-invasive laser that generates high-quality pictures of the retina. The eye doctor uses these images to study the nuances of the retina, with a particular focus on its thickness. OCT lends valuable insight in regard to the presence and extent of swelling known as macular edema.

Broome Optical believes life is worth seeing. If you are due for an eye exam, schedule an appointment now.

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