What is a Diabetic Eye Examination?
Diabetic eye exams are dilated examinations intended to evaluate your eye for complications which frequently arise from diabetes. They may include specialized imaging in order to detect or document changes to the eye. Types of ocular complications of diabetes may include retinal bleeding, growth of abnormal blood vessels, scarring, retinal swelling, retinal detachments, cataracts, prescriptive changes, and glaucoma.
Why Do My Eyes Have to Be Dilated?
The subtle nature of some types of diabetic eye disease and its tendency to affect the peripheral areas of the retina make a dilated eye examination essential in order to detect disease and determine if treatment may be necessary. Some people find the experience of having their eyes dilated mildly uncomfortable as it results in light sensitivity and possibly blurred vision. These effects are temporary but may last for several hours after the examination is concluded. Patients should plan ahead and consider having a family member or friend drive if they are especially sensitive to dilation or have never been dilated previously.
I have Diabetes. How Often Do I Need an Eye Examination?
Unless otherwise informed by your eye doctor, eye examinations are generally recommended yearly for patients with diabetes. This is because as many as 30% of people who are newly diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes already have ocular complications and are frequently unaware of it. The frequency and type of examination may be modified based upon the presence of eye disease or the status of your diabetes.
I See Fine and My Eyes Don’t Hurt. Do I Still Need a Diabetic Eye Exam?
YES!! With diabetic eye disease, prevention is critical. Many patients who need treatment of diabetic eye disease have good vision and no symptoms. A primary goal of the treatment is to avoid more severe complications which would almost certainly result in permanent vision loss. Waiting until your vision is poor or your eye is painful means the disease may be advanced and options for restoring good vision may be limited.
My Doctor Told Me To Schedule a Diabetic Eye Exam.
Great! They are following recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, which suggests regularly scheduled eye examinations to avoid potentially blinding complications of your condition. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of blindness in the United States, and affects many younger individuals. Call today to schedule an examination.
…But I Don’t Have Any Vision Insurance for Eye Examinations. What Should I Do?
Many people are unaware that diabetic eye examinations are typically covered by their medical insurance. Check with your medical insurance provider on coverage, or call us and we can help determine if a diabetic eye exam may be covered. In the event of no medical insurance, cash-pay discounts may apply on examinations.