Diabetic retinal exams can occur at the office of your ophthalmologist, optometrist, or primary healthcare provider. When the diabetic retinal exam is performed in primary care, a photograph of the retina is captured in your physician’s office and sent to an ophthalmologist for review. The exam is quick and comfortable. Results from the ophthalmologist are returned to your physician in about one business day.
It is recommended that all patients living with diabetes have a retinal exam at least once per year. Your physician is committed to providing quality preventative care and has made this potentially vision-saving technology available to help keep watch for signs of diabetic retinopathy in the early stages—when treatments to preserve vision are most effective.
In most cases, dilation is not required. However, a small percentage of patients (up to 15%) may require use of a mild dilating drop to temporarily increase pupil size. There are different concentrations of dilation drops, with the mildest concentration often being enough for this exam. The effect of mild dilation drops wears off relatively quickly. Once the drops are administered, you will remain in a darkened room for about ten minutes before the exam.