Friday, November 1, 2013

Comprehensive Eye Exams - It's Not Just for Type 1 Diabetes

Not sure what I was thinking when I scheduled both of these appointments, but this morning (after a long night of trick-or-treating), both girls had their annual Comprehensive Eye Exams.

For the most part, if you have ever had your eyes checked, the process is very familiar.  You go into a dark room, sit in a comfy chair and wait for the eye chart to be presented.  After a minute of fussing and looking, the doctor asks you to read the chart to see how much (or conversely how little) you can read.

Easy peasy stuff.

Then comes the dreaded dilating drops.  Our kind doctor offers a drop of numbing ointment in each eye prior to starting the dilations.  Other than being uncomfortable with a gooey set of eyes, both girls said it wasn't terrible.

Then you are basically done and back on your way.  There really is nothing to it!

Except with this optometrist, we also take advantage of a retina screening.  In this futuristic digital exam, the doctor takes a picture of the eye so that he can view both the back of the eye and the nerves.  This type of wellness exam can isolate abnormalities or disease right at the start.  In that way, having unchecked blood sugars will not go unnoticed (think teen or college years) and the optometrist can help point out issues before severe damage occurs.  

You know how I love a team to help us with type 1 diabetes?  Well, add our eye doctor to that list. 

While the girls were oogling their eye ball pictures (which to me looked like a giant jellyfish), he nicely explained where he would see damage if they stopped taking control of their blood sugars.  With wide eyes, both girls solemnly shook their heads and said that 'would NEVER happen'. 

Now, I don't know if that will be true, but I loved the idea of listening to those wise words from another person besides mom.  Even if you think they might not be listening, trust me, they are.

And one last little reward of having an eye exam?  For one youngest daughter, it was the ability to pick out a brand-new pair of glasses.  As I watched history repeat itself - wasn't I just ten years-old and picking out my first pair of glasses - she chose a shiny metallic pair with a pretty pink inlay on the sides. 

Unlike my ten year-old self, she confidently and happily wanted to wear them immediately! 

That must mean that we are doing something right!

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