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Eye Exam Diabetes

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 >>

Yearly Eye Exam

Yearly Eye Exam

How often is it covered? Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a yearly eye exam for diabetic retinopathy by an eye doctor who's legally allowed to do the test in your state. Who's eligible? All people with Part B who have diabetes are covered. Your costs in Original Medicare You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor's services, and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital outpatient setting, you pay a copayment. To find out how much your specific test, item, or service will cost, talk to your doctor or other health care provider. The specific amount you’ll owe may depend on several things, like: Other insurance you may have How much your doctor charges Whether your doctor accepts assignment The type of facility The location where you get your test, item, or service Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend you get services more often than Medicare covers. Or, they may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover. If this happens, you may have to pay some or all of the costs. It’s important to ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and whether Medicare will pay for them. Continue reading >>

Diabetes Patients On Medicare Lack Eye Exams

Diabetes Patients On Medicare Lack Eye Exams

Diabetes Patients on Medicare Lack Eye Exams Lack of health insurance is a barrier to regular eye exams for some people with diabetes, but a study suggests that people insured through Medicare may be missing out, too. Researchers studied records of 2,151 Medicare beneficiaries who had either diabetes or one of two common eye conditions: glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. A quarter of the total group either hadnt had an eye exam or had just one within the past five years. Of those who went without an exam, nearly three-quarters had diabetes. Participants with diabetic retinopathy were more likely to undergo eye exams than people with diabetes but no eye disease. Getting an annual dilated eye exam is important even if your vision is crystal clear because it may catch diabetes-related problems early. Source: Ophthalmology, published online Aug. 28, 2014 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Annual Eye Exam

Annual Eye Exam

~ Deborah K. Schlossman, M.D. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable new onset blindness in working-age adults. Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can have diabetic eye disease and not know it, as it is painless and often has no symptoms until very advanced stages. But with appropriate care you can reduce the risk of blindness and increase your chances of preserving sight. Joslin Diabetes Center has been on the cutting edge of diabetes-related eye disease prevention since its inception and has set standards across the world for the treatment and care of eyes. At Joslin we have developed clinical guidelines that recommend you take a three-pronged approach to preserving your vision: 1.Maintain excellent A1C and blood glucose levels. 2.Keep your blood pressure and other health factors, such as your cholesterol, in check. 3.Make sure you get your eyes checked annually through a dilated eye exam (an exam in which the doctor places drops in your eyes) or specially validated photographs of your retinas (the inside of the eyes). Eye exams for people with diabetes are very thorough and may take up to 2½ hours. Part of the exam includes applying drops to dilate your pupils, so the doctor can have a good look at what is happening at the back of your eye called the retina. No portions of the exam are painful, but when you have your pupils dilated you should be prepared to wear sunglasses after the appointment as you’ll be sensitive to light. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease for people with diabetes. It occurs when the small blood vessels in the eye are damaged by high levels of glucose in the blood. Although there are a variety of treatments to treat diabetic retinopathy, the earlier it is diagnosed the more effective the treatment. Although diabetes 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 >>

Diabetes: Eye Exams

Diabetes: Eye Exams

www.CardioSmart.org A dilated eye exam lets your eye doctor see the back of your eye. This test can detect eye problems like diabetic retinopathy. Before the test, your eye doctor will use eyedrops to widen, or dilate, your pupils. This makes it easier for the doctor to see into your eye. The eyedrops take about 15 to 20 minutes to fully dilate your pupil. Your doctor may also use eyedrops to numb your eyes. Who should get a dilated retinal exam? Everyone with diabetes should have regular dilated retinal exams. Diabetes can lead to eye problems that cause vision loss or blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will have eye problems. By the time you notice any vision problems, your eyes may already be seriously damaged. A thorough exam can help detect symptoms early. Early treatment may help protect your vision. People with diabetes are also at a higher risk for glaucoma. This is increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause blindness. An eye exam can check for this condition along with diabetic retinopathy. How often should you be tested? If you have diabetes, get tested every year, or more often if your doctor says to. If your eye exam results are normal, your doctor may consider follow-up exams every 2 years instead of every year. But if you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, youmay need frequent eye exams. Who performs a dilated retinal exam? This test can be done by: • An ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat eye problems, diseases, and injuries. • A licensed optometrist. Optometrists are health professionals who diagnose and treat vision problems and eye diseases. They also do routine vision testing and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist is not a medical doctor, Continue reading >>

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Points to Remember Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the area of the retina called the macula. Controlling diabetes—by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet—can prevent or delay vision loss. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination. NEI supports research to develop new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, and to compare the effectiveness of existing therapies for different patient groups. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes 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 Eye Exam

Diabetic Eye Exam

Annual Dilated Eye Exam for People with Diabetes Make sure you get a dilated eye exam every year. This medical test is in addition to your vision benefit. CDPHP covers dilated eye exams yearly and asordered by your doctor for people with diabetes. Get the Facts! Read Diabetic Eye Care: Fact or Fiction? People with Type I or Type II diabetes are more at risk for vision changes and diabetic retinopathy , a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. Early detection, even before symptoms develop, improves your chance of controlling eye disease or blindness. Make sure you get a full dilated eye exam at least once a year, even if your blood sugar is under control and in normal range. This test is covered under your medical benefit and is in addition to your vision benefit. Your eye doctor will use special eye drops to enlarge your pupils, allowing him or her to see the back of your eyes. These drops and the eye exam are painless, but your vision will be blurred and your eyes will be sensitive to bright light for a few hours after the exam. You may need someone to drive you home. Do I have diabetic retinopathy? If so, what stage? Is there anything I can do to lower my risk of developing retinopathy or slow its progress? Do my blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers meet the levels recommended to lower my risk for eye disease? When should I return for another eye exam? Keep Your Medical History and Health Care Team Up to Date After your eye exam, complete the Eye Care Tracking Form and either give it to your primary care physician or have your eye doctor fax it to your physician's office. Get the latest health news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter! Continue reading >>

Sixty Percent Of Americans With Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-saving Exams

Sixty Percent Of Americans With Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-saving Exams

American Academy of Ophthalmology reiterates the importance of dilated eye exams in preventing vision loss CHICAGO – People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious eye diseases, yet most do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study presented this week at AAO 2016, the 120th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is especially timely as the Academy is reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia have found that more than half of patients with the disease skip these exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and those with less severe diabetes and no eye problems – were most likely to neglect having these checks. The researchers collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the charts of close to 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams. Their findings over a four-year period revealed that: Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams Those with less-severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams One in 10 Americans have diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment due to the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. The disease also can lead to other blinding ocular complications if not treated in time. Fortunately, having a dilated eye exam yearly or more often can prevent 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss. Eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden 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 >>

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