Diabetic Eye Exams

Diabetic Eye Exams Q&A

Diabetes affects many parts of your body, including your eyes, so routine diabetic eye exams are crucial. Board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Sara Creekmore, DO, performs diabetic eye exams, including yearly evaluations, prevention, and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, at Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics in Lutz, Florida. To schedule your diabetic eye exam, call the office or request an appointment online today.

      What is a diabetic eye exam?

      Diabetic eye exams are a critical part of health care for people with diabetes. These exams involve a thorough evaluation of your retina and other parts of your eye that can become damaged by diabetes.

      Having diabetes increases your risk for many eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma. However, diabetic retinopathy is the main eye health concern for people with diabetes.

      What is diabetic retinopathy?

      Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in your retina, which is the light-sensitive area at the back of your eye, become damaged. As the condition worsens, your eyesight may become blurry.

      Over time, diabetic retinopathy can lead to partial or complete blindness. People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy.

      What do diabetic eye exams entail?

      At Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Creekmore provides individualized diabetic eye exams tailored to your specific needs. Depending on your eye health, overall health, and medical history, your exam may include a yearly evaluation of your retina, or more extensive testing and in-office treatments.

      A diabetic eye exam may include the following tests and procedures:

      • Visual acuity testing to check the clarity of your vision

      • Pupil dilation and fundoscopy to check your retina at the back of your eye

      • Fundus photography, which takes a photograph of your retina

      • Glaucoma testing

      Dr. Creekmore also advises you on steps to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. The best way to prevent diabetic eye problems is to manage your blood sugar and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

      Scheduling regular diabetic eye exams is an essential part of disease prevention.

      What do diabetic eye exams screen for?

      In addition to diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Creekmore checks for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic macular edema (DME) during your exam. DME is swelling of the macula, which is the central part of the retina.

      When do I need a diabetic eye exam?

      According to the American Diabetes Association, adults with Type 1 diabetes should get an eye exam within five years of diagnosis and every year after that. Adults with Type 2 diabetes should schedule an exam as soon as possible after diagnosis.

      Women with diabetes who plan to become pregnant should get an exam before conception and again within the first three months of pregnancy.

      After your initial appointment, all adults with diabetes should get annual diabetic eye exams.

      For more information about diabetic eye exams, call Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics, or request an appointment online today.