Diabetic Eye Exam Specialist

Retina & Macular Disease Specialists

Ophthalmologists & Retina and Macular Disease Specialists located in Arlington, VA

An estimated 28% of all adults with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy. When you have diabetes, you also have a significantly higher risk of eye diseases like glaucoma and cataract. Dr. Jeevan Mathura and Dr. Lindsay Smithen offer comprehensive diabetic eye exams that can detect disease right at the start when it’s not too late to start preventive treatment. If you have diabetes, call their practice, Retina & Macular Disease Specialists in Arlington, Virginia, or book an appointment online for your diabetic eye exam.

Diabetic Eye Exam

Why do you need a routine diabetic eye exam?

Anyone who has diabetes can develop permanent eye damage without experiencing symptoms. Your doctor at Retina & Macular Disease Specialists can identify changes inside your eye caused by diabetes long before you notice your first symptom, then initiate treatment to prevent damage to your retina. But this level of care is only possible when you have routine eye exams.

What symptoms are caused by diabetic eye disease?

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy doesn’t cause symptoms. As the condition progresses, you’ll begin to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Seeing rings around lights
  • Flashing lights
  • Persistent or more frequent floaters
  • Blind spots in your field of vision
  • Poor night vision

How frequently do you need a diabetic eye exam?

The simplest way to determine how often you need an eye exam is to schedule an initial screening. After evaluating blood vessels and changes inside your eye, your doctor at Retina & Macular Disease Specialists can determine when you should book your next exam.

As a general guideline, a comprehensive eye examination should be performed within five years of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should have their initial eye examination shortly after they’re diagnosed.

You should go in for a yearly diabetic eye exam even if there’s nothing wrong with your vision or you don’t have symptoms. If your exam reveals progressive diabetic retinopathy, you may need more frequent exams to monitor the changes in your blood vessels and retina.

What should you expect during a diabetic eye exam?

Diabetic eye disease is detected during a comprehensive eye exam that includes:

  • Visual acuity testing: Eye chart test to measure your vision at different distances
  • Tonometry: Test to measure pressure inside your eye
  • Pupil dilation: Eye drops used to widen your pupil; allows for visual inspection of the retina
  • Optical coherence tomography: Light waves capture images of tissues in your eye

During a diabetic eye exam, your doctor looks for:

  • Changes in blood vessels
  • Leaking blood vessels
  • Swelling of the macula
  • Changes in the lens
  • Damage to nerve tissue