Diabetes affects your whole body, including your eyes. It increases your risk for eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. However, the main concern for diabetics (type 1 or type 2) is diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy develops when the blood vessels in your retina become damaged. If there is enough damage, you could lose your vision entirely.
Peripheral Retinal Examination
Occasionally, a routine eye examination is unable to give us all the information that we need to fully understand the needs or concerns of your eyes. In some cases, a dilated eye exam will be recommended in order to make sure all of your ocular tissues are in good health.
During a peripheral retinal examination, eye drops will be instilled in your eyes, which will dilate (enlarge) your pupils. Those drops take about 15 minutes to take effect. Once the pupils are dilated, special digital images will be taken, and our doctors will review the images and perform their portion of the exam.
During their assessment, they will use microscopes, bright lights, special retinal lenses, and other equipment to look for any type of retinal abnormality. The list of possible abnormalities that could be found are too long to list, but the more common concerns that are looked for include: congenital retinal defects, vitreoretinal tufts, lattice degeneration, small retinal holes, retinal breaks, hemorrhages, inflammation, retinal separation, detachments, and so forth.
If a problem is found, appropriate management will be arranged, which may involve a referral to another practitioner, or more commonly, will involve scheduling repeat visits at our office for continued observation. Your pupils will remain dilated for several hours after the exam is complete but will return to normal within 24 hours.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is an inherited disease and can cause severe vision loss in people over 50 years of age. It can destroy central vision, impairs the ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading, driving or watching television.
The following factors can put you at higher risk of developing AMD:
Having a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister) with AMD.
Lifestyle factors such as age, smoking history, Body Mass Index (BMI).
AND status also plays a role in progression to advanced AND.
Most often, people suffering from AMD are unaware of it until they start to lose central vision in one of the eyes. Early detection and treatment hold paramount importance as vision loss can happen quickly and without any warning.
With the advancement in treatments, AMD can be detected and treated on time. Frequent monitoring by the eye care physician and taking the appropriate medication can prove to be beneficial for patients at risk. DNA testing to determine a patient’s genetic profile helps treat, manage and make nutritional recommendations to preserve vision.
It is a DNA test for patients with a diagnosis of early or intermediate AMD.
It is available as part of Macula Risk or as a stand-alone test. The results help your eye physician to prescribe the safest and most effective eye vitamin formulation based on your genetic profile.
Patients who are at increased risk may benefit from:
Treatment with personalized preventive eye supplements
Increased frequency of eye examinations
Disease education and 'at-home' Amsler Grid testing
Early diagnosis and treatment of 'Wet' AMD with effective therapies
Other disease management strategies as determined by the doctor