(GTU) – Going to the doctor, going to the dentist— it’s all part of taking care of your health. But going to the eye doctor? Probably one of the most important! Eye exams at every age and life stage can help keep your vision strong, but they are even more important if you have certain underlying conditions like diabetes.
Many eye diseases are common and can go unnoticed for a long time—some have no symptoms at first. Thankfully a revolutionary new camera is changing the way doctors identify and treat eye disease.
What is a RetinaVue Eye Exam?
The RetinaVue camera is the world’s most advanced handheld retinal camera, designed for providers with existing teleretinal software networks and eye specialists who need great image quality and portability.
The simple eye exam takes a high-resolution photograph of your eyes so that a retinal specialist can inspect the image for damage to the retina and blood vessels. This is a non-invasive exam that takes approximately 5 minutes of your time. No eye dilation is necessary, so you won’t have to wait to drive, or arrange a ride after your appointment. This eye exam can detect serious issues like diabetic retinopathy before it happens.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to other serious eye conditions, like retinal detachment, caused when scar tissue causes the retina to pull away from the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy can also cause Neovascular glaucoma; when abnormal blood vessels grow out of the retina and block fluid from draining out of the eye.
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy usually don’t have any symptoms. Some people notice changes in their vision, like trouble, reading, or seeing faraway objects. These changes may come and go.
In later stages of the disease, blood vessels in the retina start to bleed into the vitreous (gel-like fluid in the center of the eye). If this happens, you may see dark, floating spots or streaks that look like cobwebs. Sometimes, the spots clear up on their own — but it’s important to get treatment right away. Without treatment, the bleeding can happen again, get worse, or cause scarring.
Who is at risk?
Anyone with any kind of diabetes can get diabetic retinopathy — including people with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes that can develop during pregnancy). The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer someone has diabetes.
More than 2 in 5 Americans with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that people can lower their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by controlling their diabetes. It is worth mentioning that women with diabetes who become pregnant — or women who develop gestational diabetes — are at high risk for getting diabetic retinopathy. If someone has diabetes and is pregnant, it’s important to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible.
Ask your doctor if you’ll need additional eye exams during your pregnancy.
The OptumCare Mobile Clinic
Eye doctors can check for diabetic retinopathy as part of a dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless and can come to you!
Optum Care in Utah is proud to present Optum mobile clinic. Your mobile clinic is the first of its kind for Optum members in the Utah market and is a brand new way for you to get care. As an Optum member, you can easily and conveniently complete your general health screenings, including mammograms.
To find out more, visit Optum Mobile Clinic or call 1-855-484-9167.