Tag Archives: Dilated Eye Exam

See the Inside of Your Eye …. the Way Your Eye Doctor Sees It!

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MOUSE OVER THE ABOVE IMAGE

TO SEE INTERNAL EYE STRUCTURES!

Your Eye Doctor needs to see the internal eye structures of your eyes to determine if your eyes are healthy.

You can move your mouse over the image above to see what your Eye Doctor sees during your Dilated eye health exam.  The doctor can see your optic nerve, your retina, your macula and your blood vessels inside your eyes.   Your doctor is looking for eye health changes like bleeding in your retina, tumors in your retina, macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal holes, tears, detachments etc.

Most eye health issues DO NOT cause symptoms until it is too late…that is why is it VERY IMPORTANT to have an eye exam every 12 months even if your vision is not blurry and  has not changed at all.

Examining internal eye health can also help your Eye Doctor determine if you may have any SYSTEMIC problems going on that you may be unaware of – such as: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cancer, High Cholesterol, Brain Tumors, Multiple Sclerosis,  Sickle Cell Anemia…and many, many  more.

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Online Amsler Grid Test for Macular Degeneration and Other Macular Disorders

The Amsler Grid test is a simple screening test used to assess the area in the back of the eye that is responsible for your most detailed vision (used for reading, seeing facial details etc).  This area is called the Macula and it is located in the center part of the retina (the nerve lining inside the eye – used for sight).

If there are any diseases or degenerations (like Macular Degeneration) that are affecting the Macula – then the Amsler grid test will usually provide early detection that there may be a problem going on.

HOW TO USE THE AMSLER GRID:

Position yourself at about 14-16 inches (about 40 cm) away from the grid.

If you have glasses that you use to read with – make sure you are looking thru the reading part of your glasses

Cover the left eye and use only your right eye to see the grid.

Stare at the white dot in the center of the grid with your uncovered eye.  Keep your eye focused on the dot.  Don’t move your eyes around to see any other part of the grid except for the white dot.  Use your side vision (peripheral vision) to see all the other parts of the grid.  “Glue” your sight to that white dot – don’t move your eye around at all.

While staring at the white dot:

  • Can you see all 4 corners of the grid?
  • Can you see all 4 sides of the grid?
  • Are any of the lines WAVY or MISSING or DISTORTED?   (All lines should look perfectly straight, all intersections should form right angles and all the squares should be the same size.)
  • Are ther any holes or “missing areas” in  the grid?

Then cover the right eye and repeat the steps with using the left eye to see the grid.

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions then you need to see your eye doctor immediately. The eye doctor will examine the back of your eye and your macula VERY closely to determine if there are any medical issues causing these changes on the Amsler Grid test.

If you have been told that you have macular degeneration or any other macular disorder, you should be doing the Amsler Grid test at home DAILY.

The Amsler Grid is a great way to monitor your macular health but you should always have yearly eye examinations with dilation when dictated by your doctor.

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Diabetic Eye Examination and Diabetic Retinopathy

Informative Video from the Joslin Diabetes Center

Diabetes is the #1 Cause of Preventable Blindness in the U.S. Most of the time there are NO symptoms of diabetic eye problems.  You can have diabetic retinopathy and not even know it.  Many patients can still have fairly good vision even with advanced stages of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy).   

Diabetic retinopathy is a term used for pathology (bleeding, fluid build up and/or abnormal blood vessel growth) in the nerve lining of the inside of the eye that we use for our vision – called the Retina.

This kind of diabetic pathology is caused when elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) damages the blood vessels in the retina – causing bleeding and fluid build up in and around the retina.  Blood sugar is monitored via blood glucose testing and Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing (which tells the primary care doctor the average blood glucose in someone’s blood for the past few months – not just the glucose reading on the day of the testing).

Therefore, it is essential for diabetics to have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 12 months – even if their blood sugar is under control. A comprehensive examination should include a dilated eye exam with retinal imaging (digital retinal photography) to document the presence or absence of any diabetic retinopathy.  Retinal photography is essential to pick up and document any subtle diabetic changes in the retina from year to year.

The sooner any diabetic eye problems are diagnosed and treated, the lower the risk of visual loss and/or blindness from diabetic related complications.

So, if you are diabetic or know anyone who is diabetic – a yearly dilated diabetic eye exam is essential for prevention of vision loss from diabetes.

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