What To Expect At A Diabetic Eye Exam

Diabetes can have devastating effects on your eyesight. Your primary care physician will refer you to an ophthalmologist to have an eye exam yearly to keep track of your eyesight and make sure there is no damage to your eye. However, if you notice you have "floaters", or small specks that seem to move across your sight, you should definitely make an appointment even if are not due for another exam for a while. Here is what to expect at an eye exam when you have diabetes.

Normal Testing

A Snellen test is the simple eye test where are asked to identify letters of different sizes. If it appears you are having trouble seeing the letters properly, the doctor will use a machine with different lenses to find the proper refraction needed to make your vision best. You will be asked to look at the letters through the different lenses and tell the doctor which ones clear things up for you. You will then have a "puffer test" in which a puff of air blown across the surface your eye to measure your eye's resistance to air so it can then calculate the amount of intraocular pressure. High pressure indicates you may have glaucoma.

Special Testing

Because diabetes can affect the blood vessels and/or the retina in your eye, you will need to have some special testing. The doctor, or an assistant, will take a picture of the inside of your eye. If you have pupils that dilate well the picture can be taken without the need for eye drops. However, if you have a small pupil, or it does not dilate enough, drops will be put into your eyes to do so. These drops may sting a bit and may cause you to have blurry vision for a while. If you have never had this type of exam before it is a good idea to have someone go with you to the appointment who can drive you home if necessary. You should also bring sunglasses because the dilated pupil will be extra sensitive to light.

Even if your vision seems to be perfect, or the same as it has been since your last exam, it is important that all diabetics get their eyes checked annually. This will give the doctor a baseline reading on the health of your eye. He or she will see if any of the blood vessels are bleeding or bulging. The sooner these problems are addressed and repaired the better the chances of saving your sight.

For more information, contact companies like Country Hills Eye Center.