When Should I Have a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Diabetes is a condition that affects many areas of the body, including the eyes. The tissues and blood vessels in the eyes are very delicate and can be easily damaged by diabetes. When this happens, it’s called diabetic retinopathy. Youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, offers special diabetic eye exams to patients who need them. The question is, when should you have a diabetic eye exam, and how often?

When to Have a Diabetic Eye Exam

If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association says that you should have an annual diabetic eye exam no later than five years after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you should have your first diabetic eye exam as soon as possible after diagnosis.

However, these are general guidelines. There are two other things to consider. One is the sooner diabetic retinopathy is detected by your eye doctor, the sooner it can be managed, and more of your vision could be saved. The other is that if you experience any symptoms of deteriorating eye health from diabetes, you should see your eye doctor immediately, no matter when you were diagnosed or even if you’ve yet to be diagnosed.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Pressure or pain in the eye
  • Seeing flashing lights or “sparkles”
  • Dark spots or missing patches in your field of vision
  • Increase in number of floaters (moving spots or lines)
  • Seeing red streaks in your field of vision
  • Sudden worsening of night vision
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden blurred vision

All of these could be signs of diabetic retinopathy, and indicate that you should have a diabetic eye exam as soon as possible.

To schedule yourdiabetic eye exam in Falls Church, VA, contact our office today to book your appointment. The sooner that diabetic retinopathy is detected, the better outcome for your eyesight.

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