Diabetic Eye Exam in Washington, DC
Diabetes affects many areas of your body, including your eyes. If you have diabetes, regular diabetic eye examinations can help protect and preserve your vision.
How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes
When you have diabetes, excess sugar remains in your blood. This can cause the tiny blood vessels in your eyes to become damaged and leak blood and fluid into the retina, a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. About 30 percent of people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy.
Who Should Have a Diabetic Eye Exam
You should have a diabetic eye exam if you:
- Have type 1 diabetes–you should schedule a diabetic eye exam within 5 years of your diagnosis
- Have type 2 diabetes–you should schedule an eye exam immediately following your diagnosis
- Are pregnant and have gestational diabetes–you should schedule an eye exam within the first 3 months of pregnancy, and then again one year after the baby is born
How Often You Need a Diabetic Eye Exam
A diabetic eye exam is recommended at least once each year. Yearly diabetic eye exams can help identify vision changes when they are more easily treatable.
What is a Diabetic Eye Exam
A diabetic eye exam is similar to a regular eye exam but specifically focuses on the retina and blood vessels in your eyes. During your diabetic eye exam, your eye doctor will:
- Dilate your pupils, to view the inner structures of your eyes
- Use fluorescein angiography, to detect damaged blood vessels using dye
- Use Optical coherence tomography (OCT), to identify thinning or thickening blood vessels that may be leaking fluid
- Perform a glaucoma test, to identify glaucoma in its early stages
- Perform a vision test, to measure your distance and close-up vision