WHAT DOES A DIABETIC EYE EXAM INCLUDE?

Dr. Jim Martin 11/16/2015

optometry-eye-doctor-exam.pngDiabetes can cause severe damage to your eyes, including problems like diabetic retinopathy, which involves damage to blood vessels in the retina. It can also increase your risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts and a variety of other eye conditions.

About Diabetic Eye Exams

If you have diabetes, you should have an exam every year. If you have already developed eye problems from diabetes, like diabetic retinopathy, you need to see an eye doctor even more frequently. Seeing an eye doctor is necessary even if your regular physician checks your eyes. A regular physician is not equipped to perform as many eye tests as an eye doctor. Below are tests an eye doctor may perform as a part of a diabetic eye exam:

Dilated Retinal Exam: Your eye doctor will start with a vision test using a Snellen Chart. They will then dilate your pupils with eye drops to get a better look at your retina, macula and optic nerve. They will use a special magnifying glass to look at these parts of your eye.

Slit Lamp Examination: Your eye doctor will use this test to get a three dimensional magnified look at different parts of an eye, including the cornea, lens and iris. Your eye doctor will also be able to examine the vitreous gel that fills the space in the middle of the eye.

Fundus Photography: This test is used to document abnormalities caused by diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems. Your eye doctor will use a retinal camera to photograph parts of your retina, choroid and optic nerve along with other parts of your eyes.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): Light beams are focused on the back of the eye. They are used to get detailed images of the eye's interior. Your eye doctor can use this test to detect swelling in the retina.

Visual Field Tests: Visual field tests are used to determine how much you are able to see peripherally. This is important since diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems can cause vision loss.

Amsler Grid: This simple test is used to detect macular swelling. The Amsler grid looks like a graph printed on a sheet of paper. Macular swelling can cause lines to appear distorted or broken and the Amsler grid can help with the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

The doctors at Broome Optical in Amarillo can provide all of the tests listed above. Contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment if you need a diabetic eye exam.

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