Diabetic Eye Exams

In today’s day and age, chances are you know someone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic. Here are some alarming statistics as it relates to diabetes:

  • Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans, roughly 1 in 10 people. About 1 in 5 Americans don’t even know they have diabetes.
  • 96 million American adults are pre-diabetic, meaning a little more than 1 in 3 Americans.
  • 8 out of every 10 Americans do not even know they have it.

Diabetes can have a dramatic effect on your health and day-to-day life. However, many people don’t realize that it can also put your eyesight at risk as you are more likely to develop an ocular condition called diabetic retinopathy. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will be asked to attend regular diabetic eye exams annually so that your eyes can be screened for diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It is caused by persistently high blood sugar levels damaging the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). These vessels servicing the retina will swell up and leak fluid into the rear of the eye. In other instances, abnormal blood vessels will grow on the retina’s surface. Unless it is treated, diabetic retinopathy can seriously affect your vision and in some cases, lead to blindness.

What can I expect during a diabetic eye exam?

If you have diabetes, you can expect Dr. Ni to perform additional checks on top of your regularly comprehensive eye exam. Dr. Ni will review your medical history and any diabetes related symptoms that you might be experiencing. It is important for you to know what your current blood sugar is.

After taking the medical background, Dr. Ni will then assess your vision and examines your eye. To evaluate your retina and risk of diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Ni will administer dilation drops. These drops will open your pupils and allow for Dr. Ni to see the back of your eye, your optic nerve, and the blood vessels in the center of your eye. She may also perform various tests to assess eye pressure and risk for glaucoma.

If Dr. Ni determines that you have diabetic retinopathy, she will develop a treatment plan to prevent further damage. For mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy, you may be able to prevent further eye damage by improving blood sugar control. For severe diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Ni may refer you to an ophthalmologist to discuss surgical options.

Why wait? Schedule your comprehensive eye exam today with Dr. Ni!