Can an Eye Doctor Diagnose Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition that can cause a variety of health problems, including vision loss. Fortunately, eye doctors are often the first healthcare professionals to diagnose the disease. It is important for anyone with diabetes to have annual eye exams from an ophthalmologist so that retinopathy can be detected early. During an eye exam, the doctor will ask questions about your medical history and vision and ask you to read an eye chart.

The doctor will then directly examine the retina with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope. Some of the characteristics of diabetic retinopathy cannot be seen during a basic eye exam and require special tests. To better look inside the eye, the doctor may use eye drops to dilate the pupils, and then look at the retina with lenses and a special light called a slit lamp. A test called fluorescein angiography can reveal changes in the structure and function of blood vessels in the retina.

For this test, the doctor injects a fluorescent yellow dye into one of the veins and then takes a picture of the retina as the dye draws the blood vessels.The eye exam will likely also include screening for glaucoma and cataracts, both of which occur more often in people with diabetes and can cause vision problems. You may not notice that your eyes are damaged until the problem is very serious. Your doctor can detect problems early if you have regular eye exams. The early stages of diabetic retinopathy don't change your vision, and you won't have symptoms.Only an eye exam can detect the problem, so steps can be taken to prevent eye damage from getting worse.

The only way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy is to have an eye exam with dilated vision. For this test, the ophthalmologist will place drops in your eyes to widen or dilate your pupils. Dilating the pupils helps the doctor see the inside of the eyes more easily and inspect for damage caused by retinopathy.It's important to see a regular doctor and have blood tests to diagnose diabetes or other conditions as you age. Depending on the severity of your diabetes, your doctor may refer you to an ophthalmologist for a diagnosis of a diabetic eye condition.

When blood flow decreases, the eye tries to remedy the situation by forming new blood vessels. Your doctor can also refer you to a dietitian who can help you develop a diet that promotes weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.If your doctor diagnoses retinopathy for you and treats you to treat it, he or she may order tests several times a year. The last symptom, blurred vision, is a visual symptom, but if it occurs with other symptoms of diabetes, you should first consult your doctor. If you have type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you have your first eye exam soon after you receive the diagnosis.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you will probably need an annual eye exam to keep your prescription up to date.Even if the doctor who cares for your diabetes checks your eyes, it is important to see an ophthalmologist who specializes in caring for people with diabetes for an eye exam every 1-2 years. Vision problems often correct themselves once treatment is complete and the eyes have had time to heal. This dye will help your doctor identify which blood vessels have blockages and which vessels are leaking blood.

Gregor Potzl
Gregor Potzl

Avid beer practitioner. Devoted travel fanatic. Extreme burrito aficionado. Unapologetic baconaholic. Professional internet fan.

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