Diabetes is often associated with compromised vision and therefore, can even lead to complete loss of vision. This progressive loss of eyesight in diabetics is known as diabetic retinopathy. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are advised to go for the first eye check up, 3 to 5 years post initial detection of the disease. The tests are to be repeated annually i.e. every year post the first treatment. An appointment must be sought from a registered ophthalmologist or optometrist and a complete range of important eye tests for diabetics are to be performed. Monitoring the progress of diabetic retinopathy is important because timely detection would be crucial for thwarting the progression of the disease through effective treatments.
[Read: Why do Diabetics have Blurred Vision?]
Important Eye Tests for Diabetics
When you visit your ophthalmologist for a review of diabetic retinopathy, he should perform all of the following tests:
- Visual Acuity Test—this will try to assess the ability of the eye to focus on and see details objects at near and far distances. It, therefore, will be a measure for vision loss and similar associated problems. The intensity of your vision is checked in a visual acuity test.
- Gonioscopy—a gonioscopy is performed to detect if the area of the eye from where the fluid drains out is closed or not. This test will be specifically performed when your doctor suspects glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can lead to blindness on account of damage to the optic nerve.
- Slit Lamp Exam and Ophthalmoscopy—this is a test that allows the doctor a peek into the rear of the eye and inspect all other eye structures. It is the ideal tool to check for problems such as retinal alterations, cataract or clouding the lens and similar obstructive disorders.
- Tonometry—this test is performed to check eye pressure or the IOP or Intraocular Pressure. This is carried out to detect glaucoma. Diabetes is considered to multiply the risks of glaucoma.
- Fluorescein Angiogram— often, leaking of blood vessels within the retina can cause serious impairment of eyesight. This test checks the leakages by locating the vessels in which the leaks are present. In case you are experiencing distorted or blurred vision because of swelling or damage in the retina, this test will be performed for proper assessment.
When you visit your ophthalmologist to carry out important eye tests for diabetics, make sure you enquire about the implications of each. Being informed will help you in managing the disease substantially.
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