People with diabetes are encouraged to work closely with an eye doctor to monitor their condition. Regular diabetic retinal exams are an opportunity for the doctor to take a closer look at the eyes, note any changes, and track their progression.
During an exam, special drops are placed in the eyes to dilate the pupils. This enables the ophthalmologist to get a closer look at the inside of the eyes. The doctor will look for leaking blood vessels, abnormal new blood vessels, scar tissue, signs of retinal detachment, and any damage to the optic nerve.
Your eye specialist may perform additional testing to identify any blood vessels that are closed, leaking, or broken down. Another exam may be performed to capture cross-sectional images of the retina and determine whether fluid has leaked into the retinal tissue.
In addition to these tests, the ophthalmologist may perform vision tests, measure the intraocular pressure for glaucoma, and look for signs of cataracts.