How Long Is a Diabetic Eye Exam and What Does It Include?

How Long Is a Diabetic Eye Exam and What Does It Include?

How Long Is a Diabetic Eye Exam and What Does It Include?

How Long Is a Diabetic Eye Exam and What Does It Include?

Diabetes is a condition that can affect many areas of the body, including the eyes. The main worry for diabetics when it comes to eye health is the development of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can also increase a person’s risk for cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye conditions.


What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This eye condition develops as a result of damage to the blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive part of the eye. As the damage gradually worsens, you may start losing your vision. Essentially, your vision will become less intense, blurry, and start to disappear.

Diabetic retinopathy can affect people with diabetes, especially those who have been living with the condition for longer. This is why it is important to learn how to manage the condition and to adopt lifestyle changes.



In its early stages, this condition may present no symptoms. The first symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may be mild or barely noticeable. Over time and without treatment, however, the condition will worsen and may lead to blindness. If you are diabetic, you should visit your eye doctor if you notice any of the symptoms below:

  • Difficulty focusing.
  • Dark strings, dots, or floaters in your field of vision.
  • Altered color vision.
  • Empty or dark areas in your field of vision.
  • Partial or total loss of vision.
  • Changes in your vision that seem to fluctuate.
  • Blurry vision.

This condition usually affects both eyes in equal measure and at the same time. If you are experiencing a problem with only one eye, however, it does not mean that you do not have this eye condition. However, it might also mean that you have another eye problem. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.  


How Long Does the Exam Take?

A diabetic eye exam should not take more than 30 minutes. Since diabetes increases your risk of various eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctor will screen for many different conditions. It is important to do so since certain eye conditions can lead to blindness if left untreated.


What to Expect

This type of eye exam can vary in scope and length, depending on what your eye doctor deems necessary to manage your condition. If your eye doctor saw no signs of diabetic retinopathy during your comprehensive eye exam, for example, your follow-up diabetic eye test will not involve much. Your eye doctor will simply need to recheck the condition of your retinas.

If you have been suffering from diabetes for many years and your eye doctor detected eye problems related to your condition, your diabetic eye exam will be significantly more extensive. It may even involve some form of treatment. The most common procedures and tests included in a diabetic eye exam include:

  • Pupil dilation.
  • Visual acuity testing.
  • Examination of the back of the eyeball.
  • High-resolution, wide-angle photograph of the back of your eye.
  • Glaucoma testing.

To learn more about diabetic eye exams, visit Quality Eye Care at our offices in Jacksonville or Gainesville, Florida. You can also call (904) 601-1300 today to schedule an appointment.

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