How Do Diabetic Eye Exams Differ From Traditional Eye Exams?

Diabetes is a serious condition that threatens the health of all your body organs. Your eyes are no less in danger of being impacted by the disease. If a doctor diagnoses diabetes, you must at least plan for annual eye exams. It is the best way to protect yourself from blindness caused by illnesses related to diabetes.

Diabetes affects the absorption, use, and storage of sugar in the body. Usually, people with diabetes have to manage their sugar intake to maintain low blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar level is too high, you can sustain damage to your blood vessels, starting with the tiny ones. 


What Is the Reason for a Diabetic Eye Exam?

The main aim of a diabetic eye exam is to examine the health of the retina and the optic nerve. The retina is the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye, and the optic nerve relays information to the brain from the eye. Diabetes can cause significant damage to these two structures before you even show any symptoms. 

Other than keeping diabetic eye conditions at bay, eye exams can also work to monitor progressing conditions. Monitoring will help the eye doctor know if their management efforts are working. 


Common Diabetic Eye Conditions

If you have diabetes, you are highly predisposed to the following conditions:


  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Diabetic macula edema

  • Glaucoma

  • Cataracts

  • Optic neuropathy

  • Ocular muscle palsies


How Does a Diabetic Eye Exam Differ From a Traditional Eye Exam?


Diabetic Eye Exam

A diabetic eye exam is similar to a traditional eye exam, but more emphasis is put on your eye health. You will answer a few questions about your health and diabetic condition. Some of the things the eye doctor will ask are:


  • Do you have any particular visual symptoms?

  • If you have symptoms, when did you first experience them?

  • Do you have any health issues you are struggling to control?

  • Are you managing your blood sugar correctly?

  • Is there any more information that could be useful about your health?

The eye doctor will run eye tests to check for eye conditions common in people with diabetes. 


Traditional Eye Exam

The eye doctor at TMS Eyecare wants a general medical history in a traditional eye exam. They will also want to know if you have specific visual problems or symptoms. The exam will focus more on your visual abilities than your eye health. The tests the doctor will run are for primary common eye conditions.

The most common tests they will perform are visual acuity, eye pressure, and slit-lamp test. An eye doctor can detect a common diabetic problem like diabetic retinopathy with these tests but not the other conditions.


What Tests to Expect in a Diabetic Eye Exam

Some standard tests in a diabetic eye exam are pupil dilation, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, glaucoma, and a vision test.

For more on how diabetic eye exams differ from traditional eye exams, visit TMS in Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas. You can call (316) 686-7212, (316) 669-4760, or (620) 442-2577​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ to book an appointment today