Your Diabetic Eye Exam – Why You Need One Today
November is National Diabetes Month, which means that it is the perfect time to think about your overall health, especially if you are one of the millions of people that live with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss for people under the age of 74. Diabetes can have an overreaching impact on your overall health, including the health of your eyes. It's important that even if you think your vision is stable and you think you see just fine, that you schedule an annual comprehensive diabetic eye exam with your optometrist. Dr. Mark Roy, from Oakland Optometry in Rochester HIlls is dedicated to early diagnosis and treatment to prevent patients from diabetes related blindness.
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes
If you have recently visited your primary care physician, you might have been surprised if they asked you about results from your last eye exam. This may seem particularly strange if your eye sight is stable and you haven’t noticed any particular changes in your vision. However, if you are diabetic or prediabetic, it is especially important for you to make sure you are having annual comprehensive diabetic eye exams. Individuals with diabetes are also more likely to develop a condition called diabetic retinopathy which damages the blood vessels in the retina, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among diabetic patients.
Why You Need Regular Eye Exams
Even for individuals that do not have diabetes, we recommend an annual eye exam to monitor vision changes and potential health issues affecting the eyes. For individuals with diabetes, the increased risk of conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy make it even more important to visit an eye care professional on an annual basis. For most people with diabetes, a visit to an optometrist is necessary. Optometrists perform the majority of comprehensive, dilated eye examinations with people with diabetes. Optometrists routinely work with other health care professionals helping their patients manage their diabetes including referrals to retinal ophthalmologists who further specialize in managing diabetic patients. An annual comprehensive dilated eye exam will allow you and your optometrist to catch any changes to the health of your eyes as soon as possible, which can make treatment easier and more effective.
What to Expect during an Eye Exam
When you visit Dr. Mark Roy for an annual comprehensive diabetic eye exam he will perform what is called a dilated retinal exam. Your exam will start with a vision test using a chart of random letters of different sizes, called a Snellen Chart. This will determine if there are changes to your vision. If you already wear corrective lenses, this is the time that Dr. Roy will determine your lens prescription and if you wear contact lenses, fit you for your lenses. Once your vision is evaluated, drops are placed in each eye that will dilate your pupils. When your pupils are dilated, Dr. Roy can then look inside of your eye and examine your retina, macula and the optic nerve. He will also take a digital picture of the back of your eye with a retinal imaging camera. The image shows the retina, the optic disk and blood vessels. He captures the image from year to year, monitoring if there are any changes. If Dr. Roy notices changes from your previous exam that may indicate diabetic retinopathy or another eye condition, he may refer you to an ophthalmologist that specializes in treating patients with diabetes.
Diabetes can be managed, but it is serious. The impacts that it can have on your overall health can be life changing. With National Diabetes Month upon us, now is a great time to schedule your comprehensive diabetic eye examination.
Schedule an Annual Comprehensive Diabetic Eye Exam in Rochester Hills
Dr. Mark Roy of Oakland Optometry knows how important it is to manage your vision and eye health, especially when you have diabetes. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Roy or to learn more about Oakland Optometry, call today at (248) 373-6500.