Diabetic Eye Exams in Eastern Washington

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Managing Diabetes & Your Vision

Unfortunately, diabetes affects many parts of your health, including vision. In addition to being more susceptible to certain eye diseases than the general population, there are diabetes-specific conditions that must be diagnosed early to minimize the chances of permanent vision impairment or blindness. 

The Eye Care Team strongly recommends that patients with diabetes undergo a comprehensive diabetic eye exam at least once per year.

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Discovering The Earliest Signs

Since patients with diabetes are more vulnerable to specific diseases, our exams are adapted to search for even the tiniest tell-tale signs of both diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema in addition to assessing your overall eye health and visual acuity.

Your optometrist will start by applying eye drops that will dilate your pupils, providing a larger “window” into the eye. By using advanced visual imaging technology, we can examine your eye in exceptional detail. Such precise assessments can lead to the diagnosis of eye diseases weeks, months, or even years before their symptoms are noticeable.

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Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a vision-threatening disease unique to those who live with diabetes. It comes in two different forms: nonproliferative and proliferative.

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) occurs when blood vessels in your eyes weaken and the vessel walls leak blood and other fluids into the eye. This can impair your vision. The extent of vision impairment depends on whether a case is mild, moderate or severe.

The more advanced stage of the disease, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, occurs when weakened blood vessels around the retina not only leak blood and fluids into the eye, but eventually die and become scar tissue. This tissue can contract, pulling at the retina and threatening retinal detachment, resulting in total blindness.

There are usually no symptoms present before you start experiencing vision loss. However, once the disease has progressed, you could notice any of the following:

  • Dark spots floating around your vision (from leaking fluids)
  • Blurred vision
  • Worsened color perception
  • Empty areas in your vision
  • Sight loss

There is currently no cure for diabetic retinopathy at any stage. However, controlled laser treatment, known as photocoagulation, can seal any rupturing blood vessels and prevent further fluid leakage. For this reason, early detection is absolutely vital; the earlier we diagnose the disease, the more vision we may be able to preserve.

Understanding Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a secondary illness developed by about 50% of diabetic retinopathy patients. DME is when the blood vessel walls of the macula degrade over time and begin to leak. 

Unlike diabetic retinopathy, which causes fluids to leak into the eyeball, DME causes fluid to leak into the retina, causing it to swell. The swelling interferes with the macula, reducing your central vision.

Your central vision will be compromised. More specifically, you may experience:

  • Blurred, or hazy central vision
  • Floaters
  • Double vision
  • Blindness

There are options with laser therapy and anti-VEGF treatments, but they should be discussed at length with your optometrist before taking any decisive action.

Assessing Your Eye Health

When The Eye Care Team conducts a diabetic eye exam, we take our time and make sure that the entire eye is examined with care. We use a specialized camera to take pictures of your fundus. We may also conduct a non-invasive imaging test called optical coherence tomography (OCT), which takes cross-sectional images of your retina.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can trust The Eye Care team to handle your vision responsibly and keep your eyes protected from the risks associated with diabetes.

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Our Locations

Spokane

Our practice is located in Downtown Spokane, right across the street from the new Davenport Grand Hotel and Auntie’s Bookstore. We are just a couple of blocks east of Riverfront Park Square.

Contact Information

Address

126 N. Washington Street
Spokane, WA 99201

Hours

Monday
8 AM5:30 PM
Tuesday
8 AM5:30 PM
Wednesday
9 AM6:30 PM
Thursday
8 AM5:30 PM
Friday
8 AM5:30 PM
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Chewelah

You can access our practice off N Park St, just north of E Webster Ave. We are located across from Safeway and have lots of parking available right in front of our office.

Contact Information

Address

306 N Park St.
Chewelah, WA 99109

Hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
9 AM – 5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM – 5 PM
Thursday
9 AM – 5 PM
Friday
9 AM – 12 PM
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

You can access our practice off N Park St, just north of E Webster Ave. We are located across from Safeway and have lots of parking available right in front of our office.

Contact Information

Address

306 N Park St.
Chewelah, WA 99109

Hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
9 AM – 5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM – 5 PM
Thursday
9 AM – 5 PM
Friday
9 AM – 12 PM
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Our practice is located in Downtown Spokane, right across the street from the new Davenport Grand Hotel and Auntie’s Bookstore. We are just a couple of blocks east of Riverfront Park Square.

Contact Information

Address

126 N. Washington Street
Spokane, WA 99201

Hours

Monday
8 AM5:30 PM
Tuesday
8 AM5:30 PM
Wednesday
9 AM6:30 PM
Thursday
8 AM5:30 PM
Friday
8 AM5:30 PM
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Our Services

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