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What Kind Of Eye Doctor Should You See If You Have Diabetes?

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 >>

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 >>

Diabetes - Eye Care

Diabetes - Eye Care

Diabetic retinopathy - care Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, which is the back part of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases your risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. You may not know there is any damage to your eyes until the problem is very bad. Your health care provider can catch problems early if you get regular eye exams. If your provider finds eye problems early, medicines and other treatments may help prevent them from getting worse. You Need Regular eye Exams Every year, you should have an eye exam by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist). Choose an eye doctor who takes care of people with diabetes. Your eye exam may include: Dilating your eyes to allow a good view of the entire retina. Only an eye doctor can do this exam. At times, special photographs of your retina may replace the dilated eye exam. This is called digital retinal photography. Your eye doctor may ask you to come more or less often than once a year. How to Prevent eye Problems Control your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar increases your chance of having eye problems. High blood sugar can also cause blurred vision that is not related to diabetic retinopathy. This kind of blurred vision is caused by having too much sugar and water in the lens of the eye, which is in front of the retina. Blood pressure less than 140/90 is a good goal for people with diabetes. Your provider may tell you that your pressure needs to be lower than 140/90. Have your blood pressure checked often and at least twice each year. If you take medicines to control your blood pressure, take them as your doctor instructs. DO NOT smoke. If you need help quitting, ask your provider. If you already have eye problems, ask Continue reading >>

Eyes: Choosing An Eye Doctor

Eyes: Choosing An Eye Doctor

What should I consider when choosing an eye doctor? Where do you go when you are having difficulty with your eyesight? Depending on the extent of the problem, your answer may vary. There are several different types of eye doctors and eye specialists you could see, including an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician. Ophthalmologists are eye doctors that specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system, and also the prevention of eye disease and injury. They can be either doctors of medicine (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). While medical doctors focus on disease-specific diagnosis and treatment, osteopaths concentrate on the loss of structure and function in different parts of the body due to disease, including the eye. An eye doctor who is an osteopath would give treatment based on the assumption that treating the parts of the visual system with the use of medicines, surgery, diet, and other therapies, will therefore treat the underlying eye problem. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who has completed four years of pre-medical undergraduate education, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three or more years of specialized medical and surgical training in eye care. As a qualified specialist, an ophthalmologist is licensed by a state regulatory board to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions affecting the eye and visual system. An ophthalmologist is qualified to deliver total eye care, meaning vision services, eye examinations, medical and surgical eye care, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and visual complications that are caused by other conditions, like diabetes . Optometrists are eye doctors of optometry (OD). They are trained to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage some diseases and disorders of the eye and v Continue reading >>

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye problems and diabetes introduction If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. If you have eye problems and diabetes, don't buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice you have blurred vision. It could just be a temporary eye problem that develops rapidly with diabetes and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. A cataract is a clouding or fogging of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is what allows us to see and focus on an image just like a camera. Although anyone can get cataracts, people with diabetes get these eye problems at an earlier age than most and the condition progresses more rapidly than in people without diabetes. If you have a cataract, there is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that results in the inability to focus light, and your vision is impaired. Symptoms of this eye problem in diabetes include blurred or glared vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned ou Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Exams - Midtown Eyecare

Diabetic Eye Exams - Midtown Eyecare

There are steps you can take to avoid eye problems. First and most important, keep your blood sugar levels under tight control. In the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, people on standard diabetes treatment got retinopathy four times as often as people who kept their blood sugar levels close to normal. In people who already had retinopathy, the condition progressed in the tight-control group only half as often. These impressive results show that you have a lot of control over what happens to your eyes. Also, high blood sugar levels may make your vision temporarily blurry. Second, bring high blood pressure under control. High blood pressure can make eye problems worse. Fourth, see your eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam. Having your regular doctor look at your eyes is not enough. Nor is having your eyeglass prescription tested by an optician. Only optometrists and ophthalmologists can detect the signs of retinopathy. Only ophthalmologists can treat retinopathy. Fifth, see your eye care professional if: you can't see things at the side as you used to. If you are between 10 and 29 years old and have had diabetes for at least 5 years, you should have an annual dilated eye exam. If you are 30 or older, you should have an annual dilated eye exam, no matter how short a time you have had diabetes. More frequent exams may be needed if you have eye disease. You should have a dilated eye exam if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Continue reading >>

Optometrist Or Ophthalmologist: Which Is Best For Your Eye Care?

Optometrist Or Ophthalmologist: Which Is Best For Your Eye Care?

Whether youre schedulingyour first routine eye exam, getting new glasses or having a problem with your vision, a quick search online for eye doctors may leave you scratching your head. Is an optometrist or ophthalmologist best? And where do opticians fit in? Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy Ophthalmologist Scott Wagenberg, MD , helps answer your questions about what each type of eye doctor can do. He also offers examples of what services each may offer. Opticians can help you select and fit your prescription eyeglasses properly. Theycan advise you on frames and certain types of lenses and lens coatings. They work from orderswritten by optometrists or ophthalmologists.But they dont give eye exams or write prescriptions themselves.They do not diagnose or treat eye problems at all, Dr. Wagenberg says. How doophthalmologists and optometrists differ? Much of the difference comes down to education. Optometrists go to optometry school for four years and often do an extra year of residency, Dr. Wagenberg says. Ophthalmologists go to medical school for four years, followed by four years of residency. He adds that ophthalmologists often do a one- or two-year fellowship to specialize. They may focus on such things as glaucoma or pediatrics. An ophthalmologist will have an MD (doctor of medicine) or a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) after his or her name. Optometrists will have an OD after their names. They earn a doctor of optometry degree. Another key difference is whether doctors performsurgery. Optometrists can handle nearly all the medical aspects of ophthalmology. But they do not perform surgery, Dr. Wagenberg explains. Ophthalmo 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 >>

Your Diabetes Care Team

Your Diabetes Care Team

Your health care team helps you manage your diabetes and maintain your good health. According to the American Diabetes Association, your diabetes care team should include: You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team! Only you know how you feel. Your diabetes care team will depend on you to talk to them honestly and supply information about your body. Monitoring your blood sugar tells your doctors whether your current treatment is controlling your diabetes well. By checking your blood sugar levels, you can also prevent or reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you have. Primary doctor: Your primary care doctor is who you see for general checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes, too. Because your primary care doctor is your main source of care, he or she will most likely head up your diabetes care team. Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes. You should see yours regularly. Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is trained in the field of nutrition. Food is a key part of your diabetes treatment, so yours will help you figure out your food needs based on your weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals (like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure). Nurse educator: A diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators often help you with the day-to-day aspects of living with diabetes. Eye doctor: Either an ophthalmologist (a doctor who can treat eye problems both medically and surgically) or an optometrist (someone who Continue reading >>

20/20 Vision? Why You Still Need An Eye Exam

20/20 Vision? Why You Still Need An Eye Exam

At a routine eye exam, Aetna employee Francis Russo was surprised when his doctor asked him if he had a history of high blood pressure. “Being an athletic 20-something, I thought he was nuts,” Francis says. “But I went for a general checkup anyway, and he was right: I needed medication.” Through some lifestyle changes, Francis was later able to go off the medicine. But without that comprehensive eye exam, he never would have known his blood pressure was an issue. For more important preventive care tests and screenings, see our handy checklist. A window to your wellbeing The eye provides doctors a clear view of blood vessels, so an eye exam can tell you a lot about your general health. “Our eyes are amazing — they offer a unique view into the human body,” explains John Lahr, MD, medical director with EyeMed Vision Care, which provides administrative services for Aetna’s vision plans. “A thorough exam can spot serious problems such as diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration.” With regular eye exams, you may catch these problems earlier and avoid serious complications. Learn how some habits help protect your eyes and your overall health. How often should you go? If you don’t have any symptoms or vision problems, doctors recommend getting regular eye exams based on your age: Age Frequency 20’s-30’s every 5 years 40-54 2-4 years 55-64 1-3 years 65+ 1-2 years You’ll want to have your eyes checked more often if you wear glasses or contact lenses, have a family history of eye disease, or have a chronic condition that puts you at risk for eye disease, like diabetes. For kids under age 3, a pediatrician can look for common childhood problems like a lazy eye or crossed eyes. It’s Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Care Philadelphia, Pa | Diabetic Eye Care Cherry Hill, Nj

Diabetic Eye Care Philadelphia, Pa | Diabetic Eye Care Cherry Hill, Nj

Home Eye Care Services Diabetic Eye Care Ophthalmic Partners of Pennsylvania and New Jersey pays particular attention to diabetic eye care treatment for patients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and the surrounding communities since eye conditions related to diabetes are among the leading causes of vision loss. The most common diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy. This is a disease of the retina in which blood vessels swell and leak. Soon they can no longer supply sufficient oxygen to the retina, and the body responds by creating new blood vessels that are abnormal and fragile. These begin to leak, causing loss of vision. In early stages, symptoms are mild, but the disease can progress quickly into more severe stages of macular edema and complete vision loss. One of the main ways diabetes harms the eye is through a condition called diabetic retinopathy, but diabetes also increases risk factors for developing glaucoma, cataracts, and other issues. Everyone with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, has increased risk of eye disease. Pregnant women may also experience vision problems caused by gestational diabetes. If you begin to experience any indicators of eye problems, see a doctor immediately. These could include the following symptoms: Because eye disease can be present among diabetics even when no symptoms are present, the most important preventative factor involved in diabetic eye care is a regular eye exam. If you have diabetes, a yearly exam (or more often in some cases) can identify potential risk factors and expose early evidence of eye disease development. A comprehensive eye exam includes a visual acuity test and a pupil dilation test so the eye doctor can observe the entire retina. Sometimes a fluorescein angiogram is performed t Continue reading >>

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that affects a person's blood sugar levels and can require various treatments. Understanding which doctors help treat diabetes can simplify the process, making it less stressful. This article helps people with diabetes to understand the key differences between the various diabetes specialists. It also covers some common guidelines to follow for visiting each of these experts, to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. Which doctors help with treating diabetes? There are a number of diabetes specialists who may be involved in treating someone with this common condition. As each of these specialists has a slightly different role, there are some key things to be aware of before seeing each one. General care physicians A general care physician will often help in the treatment of people with diabetes. Regular check-ups will usually be carried out once every 3 to 4 months. If there is anything outside their area of expertise, a general care physician will frequently send an individual to an endocrinologist first of all. Endocrinologists The most common specialists in the field of diabetes are endocrinologists. Endocrinologists specialize in the glands of the body, and the hormones that are produced from those glands. The pancreas is a gland that comes under the spotlight when managing diabetes. It produces insulin that helps regulate blood sugar. In the case of people with diabetes, insulin is either not produced or does not work properly. People with type 1 diabetes are put under the care of an endocrinologist most of the time. People with type 2 diabetes, who have fluctuating blood sugar levels, will also need to see an endocrinologist. Visiting a doctor for diabetes When visiting a doctor about diabetes for the first time, it is important tha Continue reading >>

Do You Suffer From Diabetic Retinopathy?

Do You Suffer From Diabetic Retinopathy?

Everybody knows that people who suffer from diabetes struggles with the amount of sugar in their blood. Whether they have too much or too little they are very conscious of just how much sugar is coursing through their veins. Many don't realize that the wrong amount of sugar in their blood can severely damage the vessels in theirs eyes. If your blood sugar levels raise to high, you can develop diabetic retinopathy. Additionally if you have been a longer time sufferer of diabetes you are more likely to be ALSO suffering from diabetic retinopathy. The stages of development for diabetic retinopathy follow a clear path. All these stages can lead upto a traumatic event where the retina becomes detached because of the buildup of scar tissue. This scar tissue develops from the overgrowth of blood vessel of the eyeball. A retinal detachment is severe because it causes blindness. Any blood vessel growth that is not normal can spread to the iris. Abnormal growth like this, can cause glaucoma. As a result many people who suffer from diabetes are more likely to have glaucoma. Vision experts says that people with diabetes are more likely by 25% to lose their eyesight. Here are Some Signs & Symptoms that You are Suffering From Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition that results from having diabetes. However, just because you suffer form diabetes does not mean you will have diabetic retinopathy. In the early stages of development, you may not ever notice any sort of change to your eyesight or vision. As time progresses. Eventually you might see small changes and nuisances. If you see a change in your eyesight you should see your eye doctor as soon as you can or your vision may be effected for the worse permanently. For these reasons an annual vision and eye examinatio Continue reading >>

What To Expect From An Eye Examination

What To Expect From An Eye Examination

by Paul Chous, MA, OD, Doctor of Optometry Now that we have considered the various kinds of diabetic eye disease, the treatments available for each, the results of clinical research, and some recommendations for avoiding or minimizing eye complications, lets discuss the elements of a thorough diabetic eye examination. It is unlikely that any two eye doctors (or any kind of doctors) will conduct an examination in exactly the same way. Procedures, techniques and explanations that work well for one health care provider may not work for another, and vice versa. Here, it is simply my aim to describe and explain the fundamentals of an eye exam that will allow you to ask the right questions and assess the thoroughness of your examination experience. All eye examinations should start with a detailed case history. Patients often ask why so much general health information is required for an eye examination, and the answer is really quite simple: Because the eyes are connected (via the blood stream and nervous system) to every part of the body, and because the eyes and vision are affected by many general health conditions, medications, and genetic influences which are shared by or inherited from your family members. Diabetics, in particular, should be asked about how long they have had diabetes, the specific medications they are using for diabetes treatment, the previous diagnosis of any diabetes complications (eye, kidney, nerve or vascular), the frequency and range of home blood glucose readings, the most recent home reading, and the results of their last glycosylated hemoglobin test. The answers to these questions will give the eye doctor a good sense of overall diabetes control and the likelihood of finding eye complications. The patients responsibility is to know the answers Continue reading >>

Types Of Eye Doctors

Types Of Eye Doctors

There are several different types of eye doctors, a fact that is sometimes confusing to both patients and other health care professionals alike. This diversity is, in my view, advantageous for patients because each kind of eye care provider has unique strengths which, when use in a spirit of professional cooperation, combine to give all patients better care than the separate parts could on their own. Here is brief description of the various kinds of eye doctors: Optometrist - Optometrists are, most often, the eye care equivalent of the "family doctor." They are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the eyes and visual system through non-surgical means, including the use of prescription eye drops (and oral medications in most states), as well as to detect the ocular manifestations of systemic disease (for example, diabetes) and refer patients to other health care specialists for eye surgery and/or further medical evaluation. Optometrists perform the majority of routine eye examinations in the United States. Optometrists are not medical doctors (M.D. degree), but doctors of optometry (O.D. degree). Becoming an optometrist requires four years of pre-medical undergraduate education (identical to medical doctors) and then an additional four years of optometry school. Optometry school education consists of courses in geometric, physical and physiological optics, ocular anatomy and physiology, general anatomy and physiology, general and ocular pathology, general and ocular pharmacology, ocular manifestations of systemic disease, binocular vision, vision therapy, pediatric vision, geriatric vision, refraction, cosmetic and medical contact lens applications, and specialized electrodiagnostic testing. The final two of four years is spent seeing pati Continue reading >>

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