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Can An Ophthalmologist Diagnose Diabetes?

10 Surprising Things Your Eyes Reveal About Your Health

10 Surprising Things Your Eyes Reveal About Your Health

Take your eyes off that screen for a second: A new study reveals that 70 percent of American adults experience eye strain caused by digital devices. And even if you don’t have vision problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends getting an eye check-up at least once in your 20s and twice in your 30s. Since eyes are affected by many diseases (and are easy to examine), it’s easy to diagnose problems throughout your body simply by peering into your peepers, says Brian Francis, M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Doheny Eye Center at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. Your eyes might be trying to clue you in on these 10 surprising health conditions. 1. Your Mental Health It's been known for nearly a century that people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder usually have different eye tracking patterns. (Schizophrenic patients, for example, tend to have a hard time keeping eyes focused on slow-moving objects.) But it's only recently that doctors have been able to map those movements and use them to diagnose the notoriously tricky illnesses. Technology previously used to diagnose glaucoma is now also being used to map out visual inconsistencies that identify mental illness, Francis says. 2. If You Have a Brain Tumor Brain tumors manifest in many different ways. Some symptoms, like headaches and dizziness, you'd expect. But other symptoms you'd never find, unless you looked in your eyes, Francis says. He explains that during a normal eye exam, your doctor will check for blurry vision, improper pupil dilation (one eye dilating more than the other or remaining fixed), and optic nerve color. If your doc suspects anything amiss, you'll likely get a referral to a neurologist for a follow-up. 3. If You Have an Aneurysm A brain aneurysm occurs w Continue reading >>

Diabetes Eye Exams

Diabetes Eye Exams

Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, or the back of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases your risk of glaucoma and other eye problems. You may not know your eyes are harmed until the problem is very bad. Your doctor can catch problems early if you get regular eye exams. This is very important. The early stages of diabetic retinopathy don't cause changes in vision and you won't have symptoms. Only an eye exam can detect the problem, so that steps can be taken to prevent the retinopathy from getting worse. Even if the doctor who takes care of your diabetes checks your eyes, you need an eye exam every 1 to 2 years by an eye doctor who takes care of people with diabetes. An eye doctor has equipment that can check the back of your eye much better than your regular doctor can. If you have eye problems because of diabetes, you will probably see your eye doctor more often. You may need special treatment to prevent your eye problems from getting worse. You may see two different types of eye doctors: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is an eye specialist trained to diagnose and treat eye problems. An optometrist is a health care provider trained to diagnose and treat problems with your vision. Many can do screening exams for damage from diabetes. Once you have eye disease caused by diabetes, you need to see an ophthalmologist. The doctor will check your vision using a chart of random letters of different sizes. This is called the Snellen chart. You will then be given eye drops to widen (dilate) the pupils of your eyes so that the doctor can better see the back of the eye. You may feel stinging when the drops are first placed. You may have a metallic taste in your mouth. To see the b Continue reading >>

Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologist

A medical doctor specializing in diseases of the eye. People often get confused between opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. An optician can fill prescriptions for corrective lenses but does not examine the eyes. An optometrist has a postgraduate doctorate degree (an OD) from a school of optometry but is not a medical doctor (an MD). Optometrists are primarily responsible for treating refractive disorders such as nearsightedness and prescribing corrective lenses. Although optometrists can sometimes detect and manage other eye disorders, and they can prescribe drugs if they are certified by their state board of optometry, they cannot perform surgery. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> An ophthalmologist has a degree from a medical school (an MD) and must have completed three to six years of specialized training in a residency program. Unlike an optometrist, an ophthalmologist is qualified to perform surgery on the eye. In addition to treating refractive disorders, an ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats diseases of the eye, including different kinds of infections, cataracts (clouding of the lenses), glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye, leading to damage to the optic nerve), macular degeneration (age-related degeneration of the central part of the vision), and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels supplying the retina of the eye). Often, ophthalmologists can detect systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer through examination of the eyes. In fact, it is sometimes the ophthalmologist who first discovers that a person has diabetes through changes in the retina. Eye doctors use a number of tools for examining an Continue reading >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a dilated eye exam. For this exam, drops placed in your eyes widen (dilate) your pupils to allow your doctor to better view inside your eyes. The drops may cause your close vision to blur until they wear off, several hours later. During the exam, your eye doctor will look for: Abnormal blood vessels Swelling, blood or fatty deposits in the retina Growth of new blood vessels and scar tissue Bleeding in the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye (vitreous) Retinal detachment Abnormalities in your optic nerve In addition, your eye doctor may: Test your vision Measure your eye pressure to test for glaucoma Look for evidence of cataracts Fluorescein angiography With your eyes dilated, your doctor takes pictures of the inside of your eyes. Then your doctor will inject a special dye into your arm and take more pictures as the dye circulates through your eyes. Your doctor can use the images to pinpoint blood vessels that are closed, broken down or leaking fluid. Optical coherence tomography Your eye doctor may request an optical coherence tomography (OCT) exam. This imaging test provides cross-sectional images of the retina that show the thickness of the retina, which will help determine whether fluid has leaked into retinal tissue. Later, OCT exams can be used to monitor how treatment is working. Treatment Treatment, which depends largely on the type of diabetic retinopathy you have and how severe it is, is geared to slowing or stopping progression of the condition. Early diabetic retinopathy If you have mild or moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, you may not need treatment right away. However, your eye doctor will closely monitor your eyes to determine when you might need treatment. Work with Continue reading >>

Get An Eye Exam: Arthritis To Cancer Seen In Eye

Get An Eye Exam: Arthritis To Cancer Seen In Eye

Evan, now a 37-year-old who works in finance, had experienced mild back pain since college but was far more preoccupied with recurring iritis, a painful inflammation of the eye that, if left untreated, can cause blindness. By the time he was in his 20s, he'd had five bouts. "Every time they treated it, it went away and there was never any talk initially about any other related conditions," he said. As for his back, his primary doctor thought it was a sciatic nerve. "I never really addressed it," said Evan, not his real name. "OK, I have back pain -- everyone has back pain." But no one ever connected the dots until 2001. He was living in New York City and iritis struck again. This time, a new eye doctor asked Evan if he had back pain. Genetic tests revealed Evan was positive for HLA-B27, a marker for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a relatively common but incurable form of inflammatory arthritis that strikes young adults, causing chronic pain and sometimes more serious damage to the heart and other organs. "It was pretty daunting, knowing I would have this for the rest of my life," he said. "But I give my eye doctor credit. He sent me to see a rheumatologist." Spondyloarthritis -- the name for a family of inflammatory rheumatic diseases that includes AS -- is just one of many systemic diseases that can first be picked up during an eye exam. Up to 40 percent of all individuals with ankylosing spondylitis will experience at least one episode of iritis during the course of their disease. For Evan, being referred to a rheumatologist for treatment was important. "Early diagnosis is key to improved outcomes with spondyloarthritis," said Laurie Savage, executive director of the Spondylitis Association of America. "Once diagnosed, an individual can start managing the disease approp Continue reading >>

Why A Simple Eye Test Could Save Your Life

Why A Simple Eye Test Could Save Your Life

Why a simple eye test could save your life One in 10 of us has never had an eye test. But skipping that all-important appointment could cost you your sight - or even your life... Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email They may be the "windows to the soul" but your eyes also offer an insight into your health. In fact, an expert peek into your peepers could reveal anything from diabetes to high blood pressure. "Eye examinations aren't just to see if you need glasses," explains optometrist Rubena Kerr, of Lanark Specsavers. "By viewing the health of the blood vessels inside the eye, we can spot serious conditions while they're still in the early stages." Yet research by the Eyecare Trust reveals that 40 per cent of us don't have our eyes checked every two years, as recommended, and one in 10 of us have never had an eye examination. Here are a few of the conditions an eye test can detect. So pick up the phone and make an appointment today. (1) Diabetes An estimated 750,000 people in the UK have diabetes but don't know it, according to Diabetes UK. If untreated, the life-threatening condition can lead to impaired vision or even blindness. However, an eye test can reveal the first signs. That's because over time, a high blood-glucose level can weaken and damage the tiny blood vessels next to the retina. "We might see what's known as a 'dot haemorrhage' or tiny leak from a damaged blood vessel - which is one of the indications of diabetes. "The person may then reveal they are experiencing other symptoms like going to the loo a lot and thirst," says Rubena. (2) High blood pressure "It's quite common to spot high blood pressure signs in the eyes of younger people who haven't started having regular checks for the condition," says Iain Anderson, chairman of Eyecare Tru Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Eye Exams

What You Should Know About Diabetes And Eye Exams

Overview Diabetes is a disease that profoundly affects many areas of your body, including your eyes. It increases your risk for eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. The primary concern for eye health in people with diabetes is the development of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that develops when the blood vessels in your retina become damaged. The retina is the light-sensitive portion of the back of your eye. As the damage worsens, you may begin losing your vision. Your eyesight may become blurry, less intense, and begin to disappear. This condition can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to develop complications like diabetic retinopathy. This is why adopting lifestyle changes and learning to manage diabetes is so important. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms. The initial symptoms may be barely noticeable or mild. Over time, the condition can worsen and lead to partial and then complete blindness. You should see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms: floaters, or dots and dark strings, in your field of vision dark or empty areas in your field of vision blurry vision difficulty focusing vision changes that seem to fluctuate altered color vision partial or total vision loss Diabetic retinopathy most often affects both eyes at the same time and in equal measure. If you’re experiencing issues with only one eye, it doesn’t mean you don’t have diabetic retinopathy. However, it might indicate another eye issue. Make an appointment to see your doctor to find an appropriate treatment plan. The buildup of excess sugar in your blood can lead to a number of health issues. In your eyes, too much glucose can damage the tiny ves Continue reading >>

Causes And Treatments Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes And Treatments Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes and Treatments of Diabetic Retinopathy Call Your Doctor About Diabetic Retinopathy If: In people with diabetes , high blood sugar damages the walls of the small blood vessels in the eye , altering their structure and function. These vessels may thicken, leak, develop clots, close off, or grow balloon-like defects called microaneurysms. Frequently, fluid accumulates in the part of the retina used in tasks such as reading; this condition is called macular edema . In advanced cases, the retina is robbed of its blood supply and grows new, but defective, vessels -- a process called neovascularization. These fragile vessels can bleed, creating vision -impairing hemorrhages, scar tissue, and separation of the retina from the back of the eye ( retinal detachment ). The new vessels can also block fluid flow within the eye , producing glaucoma . Testing and Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy It's important that anyone who has diabetes gets annual eye exams from an ophthalmologist so diabetic retinopathy can be detected early. When you visit an ophthalmologist, he or she will question you about your medical history and vision and will ask you to read an eye chart. The doctor will then directly examine your retina using an instrument called an ophthalmoscope. Some of the features of diabetic retinopathy cannot be seen during a basic eye exam and require special exams. To get a better look at the inside of the eye, your doctor might administer drops to dilate your pupils and will then view 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 the retinal blood vessels. For this test, the doctor injects a fluorescent yellow dye into one of your veins and then photographs your retin Continue reading >>

10 Health Risks Detected By Eye Exams

10 Health Risks Detected By Eye Exams

Eyes are the window to the soul.. and your overall health as well! Having a regular eye exam has helped people prevent countless diseases that most people don’t even know have any connection with the eyes: diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. The eyes really do tell all and often signal a problem in its early stages before it would be detectable anywhere else. Your eye doctor can find warning signs long before your family doctor can discern a problem. For this reason, it is vitally important for everyone to have a regular eye exam. Most people are unaware of the benefits of a routine eye exam. According to a weather.com article, there are 13 general health problems that can be detected in their early stages in the eyes. Keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive. Cancer Often we talk about the importance of wearing sunglasses. The reason this is so highly stressed is because just like your skin, your eyes are vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. About 5-7% of the population will get a freckle at the back of their eye. Freckles in the eyes need to be monitored just like freckles on the skin to ensure that they don’t grow or change shape. For this reason, both a yearly eye exam and wearing sunglasses are very important. Diabetes An eye doctor can detect diabetes before your doctor! Small specks of blood in the back of the eye indicate an unhealthy blood sugar level, which is a symptom and cause of diabetes. Rheumatoid Arthritis Often times when people come to the eye doctor complaining of dry or burning eyes, it is an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Other symptoms include dry mouth and chronic joint pain. Coming in for a yearly eye exam could help you catch arthritis early and take steps to alleviate the pain. STDs The most common STD that eye doctors are ab Continue reading >>

7 Health Problems Eye Exams Can Detect

7 Health Problems Eye Exams Can Detect

Did you know that an eye exam can be as effective as a physical in determining your health? Unfortunately, many Americans put off going to the eye doctor if they feel like their vision has not changed. Comprehensive eye exams are important for many reasons. Your eyesight may change very gradually over time, and you may not even know that you need a stronger prescription. Your eye doctor will also perform several tests during the eye examination that will rule out eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts or retinal problems. Along with eye-related concerns, eye doctors may even be able to detect other health issues during a comprehensive eye exam. In fact, you may even find yourself leaving the eye doctor with a referral to another specialist because of a specific test that your ophthalmologist performed during your comprehensive eye exam. Here are just a few health issues that may be discovered during an eye exam: Diabetes— Diabetes affects the small capillaries in the retina of the eyes. These blood vessels may leak blood or a yellowish fluid, and this may be discovered in an eye exam. If your eye doctor notices this condition, you may have a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Hypertension— Blood vessels in the eye may exhibit bends, kinks or tears, and this may be an indication of high blood pressure. Autoimmune disorders— If the eye is inflamed, this may be a sign of Lupus or another autoimmune disorder. High cholesterol— The cornea may have a yellowish appearance or a yellow ring around it which can be a sign of high cholesterol. There also may be plaques in the blood vessels of the retina which could indicate elevated cholesterol. Thyroid disease— One of the telltale signs of thyroid disease are bulging eyes or protruding eyeballs. This condition is Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyes

Diabetes And Your Eyes

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing eye complications which, if left untreated, can lead to poor vision and blindness. However, 98 per cent of serious vision loss from diabetes can be prevented with regular eye examinations and early treatment. The earlier the treatment, the better the result. How does the eye work? The eye works a bit like a camera. Light enters through the cornea and the pupil before passing through the lens, which focuses the light onto the retina. Special cells in the retina detect the light, forming the focused image like the film in the camera. The image is sent along the optic nerve to the brain. At the centre of the retina is the macula which is responsible for the seeing part of our central vision while the retina is responsible for seeing from the edges of our vision. How can diabetes affect the eyes? High blood glucose levels can cause changes in the shape of the lens, which can temporarily cause blurring of your vision. This commonly occurs before being diagnosed with diabetes or when diabetes isn’t well managed. The blurriness usually disappears when blood glucose levels are reduced through appropriate treatment. Therefore getting new glasses should be delayed until blood glucose levels are back within the recommended range. High blood glucose levels for long periods of time can increase the risk of more serious eye problems in people with diabetes, including: retinopathy cataracts macular oedema glaucoma. As many people with diabetes do not notice changes in their vision until the condition is very serious, it is essential to have regular eye examinations so that problems can be detected early and treated promptly. Retinopathy Non-proliferative (background) The longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of small Continue reading >>

Diagnosis Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diagnosis Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Type 1 diabetes was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset. This form usually affects children and young adults and accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes and it accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all case of diabetes. Type 2 is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, prior history of gestational diabetes and race. African Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents along with increased obesity in the U.S. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which involves swelling within the eye, but no abnormal formation of blood vessels Proliferative diabetic retinopathy, in which abnormal new blood vessel form in the retina and vitreous gel of the eye Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy gives no warning symptoms. By the time a patient notices floaters or visual loss, there is already a significant amount of diabetic retinopathy. With proper education and attention, diabetic patients should seek regular eye examinations for better preventive care. With proper treatment, loss of vision can be prevented. Fluorescein angiography is frequently used in the management of diabetic retinopathy. Fluorescein dye is injected into an arm vein, and as it courses through the retina, special pictures are taken of the interior of the eye by a professional photographer. It is a very informative tool used to evaluate retinal circulation, presence of macular leakage and retinal new blood vessels. Based on this information, the ophthalmologist will then determine whether treatment is necessary. Most Continue reading >>

Shocking Diseases That Eye Doctors Find First

Shocking Diseases That Eye Doctors Find First

Blood pressure? Check. Weight? Check. Pee in a cup? Check. Seeing an eye doctor regularly? iStock/Wavebreakmedia Patients may be caught off guard if their doctor asks the last question during an annual checkup. Here’s why we inquire. The retina, or the back of the eye, is the only place in your body that gives doctors a close-up view of your blood vessels and nerves without your needing to be cut open. This makes a routine eye exam very useful for detecting important medical issues at their earliest stages. We at The Doctors asked some of our trusted eye-care experts to tell us which conditions they may help diagnose during your regular exam. And don't miss these secrets that eye doctors won't tell you. iStock/Paffy69 An eye exam may save your life. We can find everything from brain tumors to breast and lung cancers that have spread to the eye, says Joseph Pizzimenti, an optometrist and associate professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry Eye Care Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Certain types of bleeding in the retina can signal leukemia. Eye doctors can diagnose brain tumors based on changes in a patient’s field of vision. Malignant melanoma can strike in back of the eye, and patients often don’t know it is there unless the cancer is in the very center of their field of vision, Pizzimenti says. These are common cancer symptoms women are likely to ignore and these are cancer signs men can easily overlook. Diabetes iStock/MaxRiesgo One of the first clues for type 2 diabetes may be a small amount of bleeding in the retina, which is a symptom of diabetic retinopathy. “I see patients every day who have this damage and who haven’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes,” says Pizzimenti. Left untreated, the condition can lead to blindness, bu Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye Associates Northwest . Diabetes: Overview . Diabetic Retinopathy: Overview . Importance of Routine Eye Exams for Diabetics REPLAY NaN /3 NaN:NaN /04:32 Playback Mode: Normal Slideshow Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a common disease in which blood-sugar levels are chronically too high. The disease has many related complications and several eye diseases are among them. The most common eye complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of adult blindness. Background The retina is a thin, light-sensing layer in the back of the eye. If the eye is thought of as a camera, the retina can be equated to the film of a camera. The importance of this layer cannot be over-emphasized. Just like in a camera, even with the perfect lens in place, the eye can’t see clearly without healthy, regular ‘film’ (retina). Light rays are focused by the cornea and natural lens (the ‘camera lenses’ in our analogy) onto the retina, where they are perceived and then transmitted to the brain. At the center of the retina is the macula, a very small but very precise area of the retina that is responsible for the majority of our fine, precise vision. It is this part of the retina that helps us to see and recognize faces, read letters in print, and to drive, etc. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness for people between 20-64 years old. It accounts for 12% of all new cases of blindness in the United States! Any disturbance of the vessels or architecture of this very precise layer of the eye can cause loss of vision, distortion of images or shapes, or even blindness. Diabetes can cause such changes and is the leading cause of blindness for people aged 20-64 years. What is Diabetic Retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is a common but potentially blinding eye condition in wh Continue reading >>

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Diabetes Discovery – Via The Eyes

Did you know that an eye exam can be the first clue to detecting diabetes and other hidden health concerns? Finding health issues early can give patients a better chance at preventing damage through early treatment and management. A routine eye exam can show so many things. Some can be downright life changing – and life-saving – for that matter. One doctor found out first-hand when she did the same thing she does every day – she looked into a patient's eyes. But this was no ordinary exam. When Kathleen Clary, OD, peered into her 48-year-old patient’s eyes, she saw blood and other fluids seeping out of fragile and miniscule vessels in her retinas. The retina is the light and sight-sensing back part of the eye – and without it, you don't see. “As soon as I noticed the leaking fluids and the hemorrhaging, I suspected that they might be symptoms of diabetes,” recalls Dr. Clary, who practices in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Ashburn, Virginia. “In my 12 years of experience as an eye doctor, that kind of bleeding usually signals that a buildup of sugar in the patient’s bloodstream has begun to break down the capillaries that feed the retina. The result is often what we call diabetic retinopathy – a condition in which continuing damage to retinal tissue from diabetes can lead to impaired vision or even blindness, if left untreated.” The eye exam was the very first clue the patient had that she might have diabetes. Dr. Clary talked with her patient about what she saw and explained what it could mean. “I want you to have your blood sugar level checked right away by your family doctor,” she told her patient. “Tell the doctor you need to be evaluated for diabetes with a fasting blood sugar test, because your optometrist noticed some retinal bleeding. Continue reading >>

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