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Diabetic Eye Exams Calgary

Although diabetes is a systemic disease, it can often first be identified and diagnosed during an eye exam.


Diabetes increases your chances of developing serious eye diseases and conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic eyes require special care and attention, which is why Respect Eyecare offers eye exams tailored to their needs.


Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes should see their optometrist at least annually, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms with their health or vision.

Are you due for an eye exam?


Diabetic Eye Exams FAQ

Is there a special eye exam for diabetics?

Yes, there is a different eye exam for those who suffer from diabetes! It is similar to that of a normal eye exam at first. However, in a diabetic eye exam, the eye doctor will focus heavily on the health of your retina, as well as the integrity of the blood vessels in your eyes.


During a diabetic eye exam, doctors are often looking for diabetic retinopathy. This is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina and can cause vision loss or blindness. It is often linked to poor regulation of blood sugar, as occurs with diabetes. 

Is a diabetic eye exam the same as a regular eye exam?


No, a diabetic eye exam is not the same as a regular eye exam, though they do have many similarities. During a diabetic eye exam, the focus is on the health of your retinas and the health of the blood vessels that are located in your eyes. A diabetic eye exam must be a dilated eye exam in order to properly assess the retinas and blood vessels, as well as to diagnose a person with diabetic retinopathy if they do have it.


The reason for dilating the eyes is that it helps the doctor see inside a person’s eyes to inspect the tissues for any damages that could have been caused by diabetic retinopathy. This process is similar to the process of a regular eye exam, with the dilation and inspection of the eyes– it is the focus of the eye doctor that is the main differentiator between these two types of exams. 

What does a diabetic eye test involve?


A diabetic eye exam should be done annually, just like with a regular eye exam. This is the best way to catch any issues before they– and your vision– worsen. You will first discuss your vision and any history of vision loss or vision issues in your family. Typically, the eye doctor will also test your vision by having you read an eye chart. Then, you will move on to the physical part of the procedure, where the eye doctor will examine your eyes for any issues or damage. 


First, for this, your eye doctor will examine your retina directly with a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. However, not all of the features or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can be seen this way, through a basic eye exam. In this case, the doctor will dilate your eyes by using eye drops so that they can get a better look at the inside of your eye. They will then view your retina with lenses and with a special type of light source called a slit lamp.


The eye doctor may also decide to do a test known as fluorescein angiography in order to take a look at the retinal blood vessels. During this test, they will focus on evaluating any changes in the structure and function of these blood vessels. 

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