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Edwin C. Marshall, O.D., M.S., M.P.H. is Professor Emeritus of Optometry in the Indiana University School of Optometry and Professor Emeritus of Public Health in the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington. Prior to retiring from Indiana University in 2013, Dr. Marshall was Indiana University Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs in addition to being Professor of Optometry and Adjunct Professor of Public Health.

Dr. Marshall was the founding Chair of the Minority Health Advisory Committee of the Indiana State Department of Health and Vice Chair of the Indiana Public Health Institute.

How many times a year does a person need a visual field test?
It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either diabetic eye disease or glaucoma (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60). Your eye care professional may prescribe a more frequent schedule depending on your risk or presence of eye disease.

I’m a diabetic. How often should I get an eye exam?
It is very important for you to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. However, your eye care professional may prescribe a more frequent schedule depending on your particular situation.

Is pain a symptom of eye disease?
The most common type of glaucoma and diabetic eye disease tend not to have early symptoms and early detection is important to prevent severe loss. It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either diabetic eye disease or glaucoma (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60). If you have eye pain you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional as soon as possible.

Sometimes I wake up with very blood-shot eyes. Is that a symptom of eye disease?
The best thing to do is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional.

Can I get my vision back from diabetic eye disease?
Vision that is lost from diabetic eye disease often cannot be restored. Therefore, early detection is very important. When detected early treatment is very effective in preventing severe vision loss. A comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled with your eye care professional.

Is glaucoma hereditary?
Those with a family history of glaucoma are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma. However, anyone can get glaucoma so it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination, particularly if you have a family history of glaucoma, are African-American and over the age of 40, or not African-American but over the age of 60, especially if you are Mexican American.

Does smoking weed help the eye situation?
Possible therapies for glaucoma should be discussed with your eye care professional.

My husband has been a diabetic since his youth. He just had a blood vessel pop in one eye, last year the other eye. Is this an ongoing issue? My husband has been a diabetic since his youth. He just had a blood vessel pop in one eye, last year the other eye. Is this an ongoing issue? Can it possibly be prevented? Can this lead to blindness?
It is very important that he has his eyes examined on a regular schedule and follow the advice of his eye care profession. His eye care professional can discuss with him the likelihood of further changes to his eyes and his vision.

What are the symptoms for the eye disease?
For both diabetic eye  disease and glaucoma there may not be any early symptoms, which is why it is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either disease (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60).

What are first signs of this disease versus glaucoma?
The most common type of glaucoma tends to affect the peripheral vision first and progresses slowly, so a person with glaucoma may not notice any symptoms until the disease progresses to a point of permanent vision loss. Therefore, it is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either disease (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60).

I have just been told by my doctor that I am on the cusp of having diabetes. I have noticed my eye sight declining at a rapid pace. Could it possible that I am suffering from this disease?
The best thing to do is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional so that the changes to your vision can be examined and if there is diabetic eye disease it can be detected early so as to prevent severe loss of vision.

I am a diabetic and sometimes while I am studying the page becomes really shiny an I cannot see the words. Why does that happen? Are the eyes tired and/or strained? Also, I have web like skin on top of my eyelids sometimes.
The best thing to do is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional so that the changes to your vision can be examined.

My son is 31 years old and a diabetic taking the pill and insulin is he more at risk of losing his eyesight because he stops taking his meds when he thinks he feels better.
It is very important that he continues to take his medication as prescribed by his health care professionals.

My aunt has diabetes and has to go get needles injected in her eyes once a month my question is will she have to get it for the rest of her life?
Her eye care professional is the best person to discuss with her the treatments that are best based on her particular situation.

What are the signs of diabetes?
There are no early signs of diabetic eye disease. Therefore, it is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either disease (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60).

What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Where can I get one?
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best. You can get one from your eye care professional. If you do not have any eye care professional, you can go to the web site of the National Eye Institute (www.nei.nih.gov) for assistance.

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