Schedule a Dilated Eye Exam Every Year
People with Type I or Type II diabetes are more at risk for vision changes and diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. Early detection, even before symptoms develop, improves your chance of controlling eye disease or blindness.
Make sure you get a full dilated eye exam at least once a year, even if your blood sugar is under control and in normal range. This test is covered under your medical benefit and is in addition to your vision benefit.
What Happens During a Dilated Eye Exam?
Your eye doctor will use special eye drops to enlarge your pupils, allowing him or her to see the back of your eyes. These drops and the eye exam are painless, but your vision will be blurred and your eyes will be sensitive to bright light for a few hours after the exam. You may need someone to drive you home.
Questions to Ask Your Eye Doctor:
- Do I have diabetic retinopathy? If so, what stage?
- Is there anything I can do to lower my risk of developing retinopathy or slow its progress?
- Do my blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers meet the levels recommended to lower my risk for eye disease?
- When should I return for another eye exam?
Keep Your Medical History and Health Care Team Up to Date
After your eye exam, complete the Eye Care Tracking Form and either give it to your primary care physician or have your eye doctor fax it to your physician's office.