Eye Exams - Diabetes

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If you have Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes you should receive regular eye health examinations by an optometrist. Diabetes is a leading cause of vision loss amongst Canadians and a risk factor for other eye conditions such as blurred vision, dry eyes, cataracts and glaucoma. Early detection of diabetic eye disease is vital, as early treatment can help prevent further vision loss.

Common eye problems associated with diabetes include:

  1. Diabetic Retinopathy
  2. Cataracts
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Fluctuating Vision or Large Prescription Changes
  5. Dry Eyes
  6. Eye occlusions, blockages, strokes


Please note: Annual diabetic eye exams are covered by Alberta Health Care, but do not include a prescription for new eyeglasses or contact lenses. Additional charges apply for these services.

eye-bar recommends that patients with diabetes receive a complete eye exam every year which includes a refraction for eyeglasses, to ensure optimal vision correction. Patients with diabetes who wear contact lenses, should also undergo an annual eye examination because of the increased associated risks. All patients with diabetes should have a dilated retinal examination to ensure that there are no signs of diabetic retinopathy or diabetic complications (see below for details).


* If you do not have Alberta Health Care standard professional fees apply




Dilated Retinal Examination for Diabetes  - Paid by Alberta Health Care or $55.00

A dilated retinal examination provides a more thorough examination of your overall eye health and is part of every diabetic eye health examination. A dilated retinal exam provides your optometrist with further insight into things such as: cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve disease, retinal vascular disease and numerous other eye conditions common with diabetes. A dilated retinal examination is the best eye test available for eye care providers to detect these eye conditions early as well as monitor them. Anyone with diabetes should have a dilated retinal examination at least once a year.

What can I expect?

  • Medicated eye drops are administered to enlarge the pupil. This takes about 20-30 minutes to start working.
  • At first, you’ll notice that your near vision will start to blur slightly, then eventually you may notice distance blur. You may also become more sensitized to light. Depending on the eye drops used, your vision may remain blurry for 4-6 hours.
  • Interesting! People with light coloured eyes will often react quicker to the eye drops than those with darker coloured eyes. Their pupils will often dilate more, but the effects of the drops will often wear off quicker, too.
  • After the procedure, we recommend you wait for the effects of the eye drops to diminish or have someone pick you up. It’s a great idea to wear sunglasses after the procedure to reduce light sensitivity (we also stock disposable sunglasses in case you forget yours).