Each eye examination is an opportunity to see if any changes have taken place in your eyes since the previous examination. If changes have occurred, prompt treatment can often prevent further damage. Research confirms that visual loss can be avoided if problems are detected and treated early. The risk of severe visual loss is reduced by at least 50% if laser photocoagulation is done in the earlier stages of retinopathy.
After a dilated eye exam, your close vision may remain blurred until the dilation wears off, and your eyes may be sensitive to light. It’s a good idea to bring a pair of sunglasses to wear afterward and to arrange for someone to pick you up at the doctor’s office so you won’t have to drive.
Don’t wait for symptoms of eye disease to occur to make an appointment with an eye specialist. Many times, there are no symptoms until an eye problem is severe. If you don’t currently have an ophthalmologist or optometrist who specializes in diabetes-related eye disease, the time to find one is now. (For suggestions on doing so, see “Finding an Eye Care Specialist.”) If you do have an eye specialist, keep your visits current. After all, your vision is precious and worth keeping if you can.