Ophthalmologist: important steps in the examination of the eye

I just had my eye exam and I am glad that everything is fine. My ophthalmologist can not see any difference to a healthy eye and that after more than 20 years with D. This is a great relief for me because right before these examinations I get usually scared.

Since I very much appreciate the accuracy of my eye doctor I just wanted to tell about the steps of this examination procedure. I think every step is important and not one of these steps should be missing in your exams:

a) usual exam: reading different text sizes separately with every eye, asking questions about changes (day VS night vision etc) and about D.

b) eye drops for widening the pupil. 15 minutes of waiting time afterwards

c) eye exam by looking at the eyeground. Here the ophthalmologist not only uses his normal tools but uses an additional magnifier to see more details of the eyeground. You have to look in four to six directions with every eye so every part of the eyeground can be seen (upper left, mid left, lower left, upper right, mid right, lower right). At every direction you hold your eye steady so the doc can scan the area for abnormalities.

d) measurement of eye pressure

e) once in a year: testing the field of vision with a special device. You just look at one spot and then a point will appear somewhere in your field of vision. You press the trigger when you have seen the point. This way a map of your field of vision can be drawn.

Four years before when I was on NPH insulin I had much trouble with lows. These lows affected my vision because they are stressful for the central nerve of the eye. Back then my eye doc checked and has seen that everything is fine. But he really wanted to make sure that everything is okay and so he has send me to a hospital for a special eye exam. It is called angiogram of the eye. In this procedure a contrast liquid is injected into your vains and then a sequence of digital photos of the eyebackground is shot. These photos would reveal tiny and invisible bleedings that can start to happen before anything is visible in the eyeground. This exam showed that everything was healthy. After switching to NovoLog and Levemir my episodes with lows have been reduced dramatically and these problems totally dissappeared. I just mention this angiogram to point out that there are examinations beyond the usual that might be helpful to get a diagnosis.

Great post Holger. I go to an Ophthalmologist 2 times a year, My Retina Specialist 4 times a year which includes an Angiogram 1 time a year and a Glaucoma Specialist 1 time a year since I had Narrow Angle Glaucoma which surgery corrected. One thing I would add is that if you have blood sugars that change frequently from high to low that it is hard to get an accurate prescription for glasses while this is happening. This many visits may sound excessive to some, but I had a lazy eye as a child and I only have good vision in one eye so I have to really stay on top of things where my eyes are concerned.

Congratulations on the wonderful news. Admit I freak at going for eye exams. Never had an angiogram & am going to be a brave girl & have this done. Thanks for all the great info.

I’m very glad about your exam. My ophtalmo made the exams and maybe one more : OCT. Don’t ask me what’s the meaning of these 3 letters, but I know she looks at my macular oedemia with this. Last november I got the same exam (+ OCT). I’m sure if I could have a A1C as good as you, my oedemia will be smaller. Maybe it’s too late . You made a really good work with your diabetes. Congratulations Holger.

Thanks for the post Holger. I printed it out to bring it to my next exam for reference.

happy that your eyes are okay :slight_smile:
these are really great steps,thanks,I am gonna see if they did this.
whenI was diagnosed,I had a measurement of the pressure,and had those stupideye drops that made me see nothing,I wear glasses,so normally(I started wearing it when I was Dx)I would do that test every year.
I thought I red somewhere you should test your eye once every 5 years,I went to an ophthalmologist last time to check on my sight,not for diabetes,but for my glasses,we mentioned that I have D and he checked the eyeground I think,he said it’s fine,but I have to do it at the D clinic next time too.

Thanks for sharing a great post Holger:) I too really freak before my annual open eye exam. My hands are sweating all the way through the actual visual evaluation w/ all the bright lights! Then, my doc, hesitates and says…“everything looks great”…I have known him so long that I actually kid w/ him about not telling me what he sees while he is doing his exam! He has never done the angiogram and I did not realize how hypos could effect the optic nerve…good to know. My exam takes about 2 hours, but feel much better knowing I am ok. I do have 2 microaneurysms but, overall my vision has much improved w/ tight control.

Did anyone read that article from Diabetes News Hound on pycnogenol supplements and decreased leakiness of small blood vessels in the eye? Peaked my interest. I have used bilberry supplements for years hoping they help in some way…and are a great antioxidant for the whole body…like eating blueberries and such.