diabetestalk.net

Can You Tell From An Eye Exam If You Have Diabetes?

Can Your Optometrist Detect Diabetes?

Can Your Optometrist Detect Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that occurs when a person’s body produces too much insulin. However, one of the biggest dangers with diabetes is that there may be no symptoms until the disease reaches a later stage. But your eye doctor may be able to detect very early and before you even experience symptoms. Why Is It So Important To Detect Diabetes Early? Diabetes should be treated as soon as it is detected. If left untreated, diabetes can result in total permanent blindness. According to the researchers, when diabetes is detected early, with a timely treatment and proper follow-up, the risk of vision loss from the retinopathy is reduced by 95%. How Does The Doctor Examine My Eyes? There are several parts to a general eye exam. The first part is a simple conversation between the patient and a doctor. The doctor asks the patient about known illnesses she or he may have or be at risk for. The eye doctor also asks if there are any signs of complications or problems. The second part is a general visual activity test, which involves reading letters and numbers of different sizes off a chart. The patient stands 20 feet away from the test chart, and the doctor asks the person to read what she or he can see. The numbers get smaller with every new line, and the patient should cover one eye while reading the lines. This test tells the doctor the prescription strength, if necessary, that the patient will need for corrected vision. The last part of the exam is the eye pressure test. The doctor puts dye in the eye that enlarges the pupils. Then doctor examines different parts of the eye and ensures that everything is functioning properly. There are also other tests that may be necessary during the exam. Color acuity test, glaucoma screenings, and retinal examinations are Continue reading >>

How Do Eye Doctors Check For Diabetic Retinopathy?

How Do Eye Doctors Check For Diabetic Retinopathy?

Early treatment of serious diabetic retinopathy can improve the chance of saving your sight. For some people, diabetic retinopathy may be one of the first signs that they have diabetes. Adults and children who have diabetes should have a dilated eye exam at least once a year. If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need to visit an eye doctor more often than once a year. This helps the doctor monitor the disease and determine the best treatment options. The eye doctor can decide if you need an eye exam more often. At a complete eye exam, called a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor widens the pupil of the eye with eye drops to allow a closer look at the inside of the eye. This exam may not be part of an eye exam for a new pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Dilated Eye Exam Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health The blood vessels in the eyes cannot be distinguished from the surrounding structure of the eye in conventional imaging techniques. Doctors can however document potential damage caused by diabetic retinopathy by injecting a substance that "lights up" the veins. This simple procedure provides a clear picture of the retinal blood vessels for diagnosis. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a

Q&A Menu To find the Q&As most helpful to you, please click on one of these subjects: How Does Diabetes Affect Eyes? Q: How does diabetes affect your eyes? — L.L., Connecticut A: Diabetes causes problems in the retina with what are collectively called microvascular abnormalities. The small blood vessels develop microaneurysms and leak blood. New blood vessel growth (neovascularization) occurs. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are weak and also leak. These leaks (hemorrhages) can cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent vision loss. Patients with controlled diabetes do better than those with uncontrolled diabetes. However, even a person whose diabetes is under perfect control can still develop diabetic retinopathy — hence, the need for yearly retinal exams. — Dr. Slonim Q: Does diabetic retinopathy get progressively worse? — F.R. A: Yes. When left unrecognized and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can even get worse despite use of the best treatments that currently exist for it. — Dr. Slonim Q: My father has type 2 diabetes and he is seeing double. We went to the hospital about a week ago and they said the diabetes had affected a nerve on the right eye. Can medicine get his sight back to normal? — W.C. A: Diabetes can affect any one of the three cranial nerves that are responsible for movement of the eyes. Diabetes is one of the more common conditions associated with sixth nerve (Abducens nerve) palsies. Paralysis of this nerve affects the lateral rectus muscle that allows the eye to look outward. There is no specific medicine for this. The paralysis can be temporary and last a few months or it can be permanent. — Dr. Slonim Q: Can diabetes cause you to have eye infections suc Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Disease: Diagnosis, Causes, And Symptoms

Diabetic Eye Disease: Diagnosis, Causes, And Symptoms

By Debra A. Sokol-McKay, MS, CVRT, CDE, CLVT, OTR/L, SCLV Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease How Diabetes Affects the Eyes and Vision: Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Examination Guidelines Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease Diabetic retinopathy usually has no early warning signs. It can be detected only through a comprehensive eye examination that looks for early signs of the disease, including: Leaking blood vessels Macular edema (swelling) Pale, fatty deposits on the retina Damaged nerve tissue Any changes to the retinal blood vessels To diagnose diabetic eye disease effectively, eye care specialists recommend a comprehensive diabetic eye examination that includes the following procedures: Distance and near vision acuity tests A dilated eye (or fundus) examination, which includes the use of an ophthalmoscope. In a dilated eye examination, it is the pupil that is dilated—not the entire eye. This allows the examiner to see through the pupil to the retina. Visual acuity tests alone are not sufficient to detect diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. A tonometry test to measure fluid pressure inside the eye. A fluorescein angiography test, if more serious retinal changes, such as macular edema, are suspected. Fluorescein angiography is an eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) testing may be used to gain a clearer picture of the retina and its supporting layers. OCT is a type of medical imaging technology that produces high-resolution cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of the eye. Also, an Amsler Grid test can detect early and sometimes subtle visual changes in a variety of macular diseases, including diabetic macular edema. The first image below shows an Amsler Grid as seen with unimpaired vis Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy - Exams And Tests

Diabetic Retinopathy - Exams And Tests

Diabetic retinopathy can be detected during a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. An exam by your primary doctor, during which your eyes are not dilated, is not an adequate substitute for a full exam done by an ophthalmologist. Eye exams for people with diabetes can include: Visual acuity testing. Visual acuity testing measures the eye's ability to focus and to see details at near and far distances. It can help detect vision loss and other problems. Ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp exam. These tests allow your doctor to see the back of the eye and other structures within the eye. They may be used to detect clouding of the lens (cataract), changes in the retina, and other problems. Gonioscopy. Gonioscopy is used to find out whether the area where fluid drains out of your eye (called the drainage angle) is open or closed. This test is done if your doctor thinks you may have glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that can cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Tonometry. This test measures the pressure inside the eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP). It is used to help detect glaucoma. Diabetes can increase your risk of glaucoma. Your doctor may also do a test called an optical coherence tomography (OCT) to check for fluid in your retina. Sometimes a fluorescein angiogram is done to check for and locate leaking blood vessels in the retina, especially if you have symptoms, such as blurred or distorted vision, that suggest damage to or swelling of the retina. Fundus photography can track changes in the eye over time in people who have diabetic retinopathy and especially in those who have been treated for it. Fundus photography produces accurate pictures of the back of the eye (the fundus). An eye doctor can compare photographs taken at different ti Continue reading >>

What To Expect At Your Eye Exam

What To Expect At Your Eye Exam

If you are lucky enough to have good eyesight, you may be surprised when your diabetes care team recommends that you make an appointment with an eye doctor. If your vision is stable, and your eyes don’t bother you, why should you have your eyes checked? The answer is that many potentially devastating eye problems develop without causing discomfort or distorting vision. Glaucoma and cataract are examples of eye problems that occur commonly in older adults and more frequently in people with diabetes. Generally, these conditions are treatable, but if not caught early enough, they can lead to vision loss or even blindness. In addition, there’s diabetic retinopathy, a serious complication that is more likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes but may develop in anyone with diabetes. Tight blood glucose control can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of diabetic retinopathy, but the only way to identify this and other eye problems in their earliest and most treatable stages is to have regular, comprehensive eye examinations. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> There’s no reason to avoid an eye exam; it involves a series of painless tests that check your visual acuity and general eye health and screen for signs of disease. Before we discuss what to expect at the exam, let’s take a look at the eye and how it works. The eye The eye is a hollow organ about the size of a Ping-Pong ball, with an opening at the front that lets in light, and a gelatinous substance called vitreous filling most of the inside. It functions in a manner similar to a camera. The aperture through which light enters the eye is the pupil, the black-seeming hole in the middle 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 >>

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 >>

Regular Eye Exams Can Detect Diabetes

Regular Eye Exams Can Detect Diabetes

Many people in Ireland may have type 2 diabetes without being aware of it, however regular eye exams could help detect the condition, opticians have said. Currently, over 190,000 people in Ireland have some sort of diabetes, with many more thought to be undiagnosed. One of the most serious complications of the condition is diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the eyes that can lead to blindness if left untreated. "People with diabetes are 10 to 20 times more likely to go blind than someone without the condition, due to diabetic retinopathy. However, if this condition is detected early through an eye examination and treated, blindness can be prevented in 90% of cases," explained Noel Meehan, chairperson of optician group, Specsavers Ireland. Opticians are trained to look out for signs of diabetes during regular eye examinations. According to Kieran O'Leary, CEO of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland, it is ‘vital' that people with diabetes are diagnosed as early as possible ‘to help reduce their risk of developing complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness'. "A simple eye test can help with diagnosis," he said. Mr O'Leary added that if people are found to have signs of diabetes during an eye exam, they should immediately visit their GP for a simple blood test to diagnose the condition. Symptoms of diabetes include urinating more often than usual, especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, slow healing of cuts and wounds and blurred vision. Adults are recommended to have their eyes tested every two years and eye tests are free of charge for people with medical cards or those entitled to PRSI treatment benefit. World Diabetes Day is being held today. For more information on eye health, see Irishhealth. 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

How Eye Exams Can Help Detect And Manage Diabetes

How Eye Exams Can Help Detect And Manage Diabetes

Over the course of the next nine years, 6.4 million Canadians will be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. What’s more, one third of Canadians today already have diabetes or prediabetes and many don’t know it. November is Diabetes Awareness Month and optometrists are encouraging everyone to have their eyes checked. You may be thinking to yourself, ‘What does diabetes have to do with my eyes?’, the Canadian Diabetes Association explains: “Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in Canada. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, but diabetes’ effect on the retina is the main threat to vision.” A comprehensive eye exam conducted by an eye doctor can not only lead to early detection of diabetes (type 1 and 2), but it can also reveal the effects of poor diabetes management to existing diabetics, indicating a need for lifestyle and diet changes, better compliance with treatment, or medication modification. One of the most common misconceptions about eye exams is that they’re only testing your sight- this isn’t the case. Here are the key differences between a sight or screening test and a comprehensive eye exam: Sight test or screening test (performed by a non-doctor)- Only measures how well you can see and individual is not trained or licensed to test or diagnose the eyes. VS. Comprehensive eye exam (performed by optometrist or ophthalmologist) - Only an eye doctor can conduct a comprehensive eye exam. A high-powered microscope is used to examine the tiny structures inside of your eyes, including a close-up look at your blood vessels, optic nerves, and other complex eye structures, all of which may contain clues to conditions that could pose a serious risk to your health, s 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 >>

More in diabetes