Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fundus Camera?

Soon after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I went to an ophthamologist to have my eyes examined for diabetic problems. The nurse tried to insert eye drops into my eyes; when I kept jerking, she angrily called me a baby, taunted me, and told me that if I was acting like that, I obviously didn't care if I went blind and I could just leave.

Well, I eventually did get dilated but I didn't want to go back there ever again. The doctor's office recently called saying I was past due for another screening, but I'm not going. I don't want eye drops. And I don't want to deal with mean nurses either.

The studies I've read suggest that it's safe only going for an eye exam every other year as long as your previous exam showed you to be in fine eye health, and especially with my pretty decent blood sugar control, I figure I'm safe skipping this year's appointment. But sooner or later, I'll be wanting to have my eyes examined again, and just yesterday my parents and I talked about the difficulty of me not wanting my eyes dilated but wanting my eyes screened.

Well, today I watched a video on the use of the fundus camera in screening for diabetic neuropathy. Guess what? With the camera, you don't have to dilate the eyes in order to see any diabetic eye damage!

So now the question is, how do I find out which opthamologists or optometrists in the Chicago area use fudus cameras for looking at diabetic eyes?


Vivian said...

Very cool. I had not heard of this, I will have to research it. Thanks for the heads up and I hope you find an eye doc who uses it.

Hannah said...

Sounds cool, but if you can't find a place, I'd suggest getting a different opthamologist. NO ONE should be treated that way (called names, insulted, wished ill, etc.) by a health care professional! Actually, I think I'd write a letter to the doctor of the practice to tell them what happened and why you won't be returning there for an eye exam.

Bad Decision Maker said...

I would make sure that you find an opthalmologist, not an optometrist to check your eyes, however you're having them checked. Ophthalmologists are doctors, and are trained to check for diabetic complications. Optometrists aren't.

I agree with Hannah, the nurse should never have said any of those things to you. No matter how hard it was to get drops in your eyes.

I also had a bad experience at my last eye dr. appointment, but not as bad as yours. My opthalmologist was really flippant and inaccurate about diabetes complications. He said the incidence of things like kidney disease and retinopathy are actually fairly low in diabetics, its a risk but not that many diabetics actually get it. I try to call him on it, and said, uh, that's not my understanding for T1, but he stuck with it. I got slightly excited and though maybe the rates are lower than i thought, went home, looked it up, saw kidney #s in the 30% range and retinopathy WAY higher in T1's (90% that have had it for more than 20 yrs have some damage; some of this doesn't impact vision at all though). I was really mad at him for getting my hopes up and spewing inaccurate facts as an MD. I've been meaning to write him a letter.

Also, if he thinks retinopathy is not very common in diabetics (including T1's that have had it for a while and aren't in great control, like me) then he doesn't know what he's talking about and I need someone that does know what they're talking about to look at my eyes.

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