Diabetic and Hypertensive Retinopathy Evaluations
Once you have been diagnosed with Diabetes or Hypertension, your chances of having retinal changes increase. Therefore, every primary care physician recommends all diabetic/hypertensive patients to have a comprehensive eye exam with Dilation every year.
During dilation, drops will be placed in your eyes to open up the pupil so the doctor can see better inside your eye and assess if there’s any changes with the vasculature of your eye.
Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can help prevent vision loss. For people in whom diabetic retinopathy has not been diagnosed, the American Diabetes Association recommends that screening be done based on the following guidelines:
- People with type 1 diabetes who are age 10 and older should have a dilated eye exam within 5 years after diabetes is diagnosed and then every year.
- People with type 2 diabetes should have an exam as soon as diabetes is diagnosed and then every year.
- If your eye exam results are normal, your doctor may consider follow-up exams less often. For example, you may have an exam every 2 years. But if you are diagnosed with retinopathy, you may need frequent eye exams.
- Women who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and who are planning to become pregnant should have an exam before becoming pregnant, if possible, and then once during the first 3 months (first trimester) of pregnancy. The eye doctor can decide whether you need further screening for retinopathy during pregnancy based on the results of the first-trimester exam.