Diabetic Eye Exam Specialist

Diana Zabarko, OD -  - Optometrist

Avant Garde Vision Center

Diana Zabarko, OD

Optometrist located in Wayne, NJ

If you have diabetes or suspect you may have diabetes, it’s important to schedule an eye exam once per year. Diabetes can increase your risk for eye diseases that cause significant vision loss and even lead to blindness. Some of the conditions may have no early warning signals, so visiting an eye doctor is “job one,” says Dr. Diana Zabarko, optometrist with Avant Garde Vision Center in Wayne, New Jersey. Call the office or book an appointment online for a preventive eye health exam.

Diabetic Eye Exam Q & A

by Diana Zabarko, OD

What are the Most Common Types of Eye Problems for Diabetics?

Serious eye conditions that can lead to loss of vision or blindness include

  • Diabetic retinopathy: the most common eye disease among people with diabetes, caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina resulting from high blood sugar
  • Cataracts: a milky white substance eventually covers the lens and leads to blindness if not treated
  • Glaucoma: increased pressure from fluid inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision

What Happens at a Diabetic Eye Exam?

If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once a year. Bring along a list of all of your prescription and over-the-counter medications to your exam, because some of these medicines can cause vision changes.

  • Refraction: The first procedure during your exam is reading an eye chart. In addition, Dr. Zabarko also uses a special instrument that examines the shape of your eyes to determine if you are farsighted, nearsighted, or have an astigmatism. She then determines a correct prescription.
  • Glaucoma Testing: Dr. Zabarko tests for glaucoma, which causes irreversible blindness if not caught early enough. She places eyedrops in your eyes to dilate them during the exam, allowing her to check for signs of disease inside your eyes. Glaucoma affects your peripheral vision, or what you see to each side of your eyes. To check for glaucoma, Dr. Zabarko uses an automated visual field test. With one eye covered, while looking straight ahead at a steady light, a series of lights flash. You push a button each time you see a flash of light. A computer analyzes how much of your peripheral, or side vision is affected, if any.
  • Retinopathy and Cataracts TestingDr. Zabarko then uses a microscope and an ophthalmoscope that show a 3-D cross section of the parts of your eye. These help diagnose retinopathy and cataracts.

What if I Have a Diabetic-Induced Eye Disease?

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye condition of people with diabetes. Dr. Zabarko coordinates with a partner ophthalmologist who performs laser surgery, a proven technique to reduce the possibility of vision loss by 60%. In addition, an ophthalmologist can perform a vitrectomy, which removes scar tissue and liquid-like vitreous, replacing it with a saline solution.

If Dr. Zabarko detects signs of glaucoma or cataracts, she refers you to a trusted ophthalmologist for treatment.

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Eye Services