Diabetic Eye Exam

Keeping an Eye on Retinopathy

There are a variety of different techniques that may be employed to help verify the existence – and severity – of diabetic retinopathy, the main eye disease unique to diabetics.

One of the leading causes of vision loss in the world today, it is caused by high blood sugar and pressure levels and can affect many long-term diabetics.

Of Americans living with diabetes for more than two decades, 80 percent will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy. In severe cases, and when mild cases are left undiagnosed or untreated, this can cause irreversible blindness in one or both eyes.

We are experts in diagnosing diseases early and providing the best treatment. 

Diabetic Eye Exam l Armstrong Optometry & Associates l Greenwood, Indiana

What to Know


(Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy)

This is the early stage of diabetic eye disease. Many people with diabetes have it.

With NPDR, tiny blood vessels leak, making the retina swell. When the macula swells, it is called macular edema. This is the most common reason why people with diabetes lose their vision.

Also with NPDR, blood vessels in the retina can close off. This is called macular ischemia. When that happens, blood cannot reach the macula. Sometimes tiny particles called exudates can form in the retina. These can affect your vision too.

If you have NPDR, your vision will be blurry.


Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

PDR is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. It happens when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization. These fragile new vessels often bleed into the vitreous. If they only bleed a little, you might see a few dark floaters. If they bleed a lot, it might block all vision.

These new blood vessels can form scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause problems with the macula or lead to a detached retina.

PDR is very serious, and can steal both your central and peripheral (side) vision.


You can have diabetic retinopathy and not know it. This is because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. As diabetic retinopathy gets worse, you will notice symptoms such as:

  • seeing an increasing number of floaters
  • having blurry vision
  • having vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear
  • seeing blank or dark areas in your field of vision
  • having poor night vision
  • noticing colors appear faded or washed out
  • losing vision

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.

How We Help

The best way to minimize the potential damage to your eyesight is through preventative eye care and controlling your blood sugars.

Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT is a standard part of all eye exams at our practice and produces a high-resolution, 3D image of the retina. Even the earliest stages of diabetic retinopathy present with swollen blood vessels in the eye, which we can observe through this high-resolution, magnified image We may also test your eyesight and use tonometry to check your eye pressure – both can be useful aids in diagnosing eye diseases.

Regular Exams
The only way to minimize the potential damage to your eyesight is through preventative eye care. Arrange an eye exam at least every 12 months so we can stay up-to-date on your ocular health. We regularly send reports to your Primary Diabetic Care Doctor, coordinating care through detailed analysis to make adjustments to treatments.