Why an Annual Diabetic Eye Exam is Important?
Diabetes is a small blood vessel disease that affects retinal blood vessels causing bleeding in the eye known as diabetic retinopathy.
In Diabetes, eye damage occurs before visual blurring. With diabetic retinopathy, there are often no symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and then permanent vision loss occurs rapidly. Your annual diabetic exam can detect retinopathy early and can be treated easily to protect 20/20 vision. During the exam, you will also be checked for cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems.
When diabetic eye disease is found early and managed diligently, it can by stopped or slowed. Our eye physicians are uniquely qualified to diagnose and manage the eye disorders associated with diabetes.
What is Diabetic eye exam?
Eye & Vision Care offers the specialized eye care and services that diabetic patients need. Our offices have state-of-the-art technology to help us find problems at the earliest and most treatable stage.
The comprehensive diabetic eye exam includes:
1.Review of medical and visual symptoms
2.Measurement of visual acuity and measurement of refraction to evaluate the need for or changes to corrective lenses
4.Slit Lamp and Biomicroscope examination of structures of the front of the eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris) and an even higher-powered lens to view inside the eye (retina, optic nerve, macula)
5.Measurement of pressure within the eye to check for glaucoma
6.Dilation of the eyes to most thoroughly evaluate the ocular structure, pupil reactivity, blood supply and blood vessels into/around the retina
If more diagnostic tests are needed to evaluate eye condition, we have the most technologically advanced imaging available, which includes cirrus 5000 OCT scanning and Humphrey visual field testing. This allows for advanced 3-D images of the eyes, which help reveal eye diseases that may not be noticeable by the patient. We can study and visualize retinal layers and get a better understanding of any nerve or retina damage in the eye. This is a non-invasive test and usually does not require dilation of the eyes. These images also provide a baseline to ensure treatment is meeting expectations in follow-up exams.
At Eye & Vision Care, we always share exam results with your primary care doctor so any issues can be further addressed ASAP. By staying in close touch with your physician, we can alert him or her to changes that may be happening in your brain, heart, kidneys or extremities. Finding these changes early can make all the difference to your health and quality of life.
Does insurance cover diabetic eye exams?
Insurance companies classify eye exams into two categories: Vision Exams and Medical Eye Exams. A diabetic eye exam is considered a Medical Eye Exam and is covered by your medical insurance. Medical insurances usually cover all eye exams which involve a medical condition related to your eyes, is medically necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and conditions of the eye, covers pre-existing conditions requiring follow-up care, regular monitoring, and referral to a surgeon or specialist.
Medical insurances do not cover routine eye care e.g. Eyeglasses, contacts, services related to eyeglasses and contact lenses; e.g. vision exams to determine the need for corrective lenses and to evaluate overall eye health. That includes eyeglasses, contact lenses, and screening for eye diseases and disorders and does not involve any medical decisions or management.
We know the insurance benefits can be confusing sometimes. If you ever have questions, we are here to help. Call us today in Fairfax at (703) 961-9119 , in Ashburn at (703) 722-8688 , in Haymarket at (703) 659-4430 or in Chantilly at (703) 957-3384 . You can also schedule an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!
Vision loss is one of the most common and feared complications of diabetes. Annual comprehensive diabetic eye exams, and compliance with your primary care physician’s recommendations can help maintain your precious gift of sight.