Should You Have a Retinopathy Scan?

A retinopathy scan is the first step in detecting disease in the retina of your eye. If you’re diabetic or hypertensive, your eye doctor in Grand Forks, ND, may recommend a retinopathy scan as a preventive measure, even if you’re not experiencing difficulties with your vision. Early detection and treatment of retinopathy may help prevent total vision loss.

What Is a Retinopathy Scan?

During a retinopathy scan, your eye professional will use eye drops to dilate your pupils. Afterward, you’ll stare into a machine that takes a picture of your eyes. From this image, they can tell whether you have damage to the retina or other areas of the eye. The procedure is painless and non-invasive, though your eyes may be sensitive to light for several hours afterward.

What Causes Retinopathy?

Usually, diabetes or hypertension cause retinopathy. This disease develops due to abnormal blood flow to the eyes. Because your retinas are the areas of the eyes responsible for sensing light, damage to the retinas may lead to vision impairment or vision loss. In the case of retinopathy, damage has occurred to one or more of the many blood vessels within the retina.

What Are the Symptoms of Retinopathy?

Symptoms of retinopathy may include one or more of the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Floaters
  • Dark areas in your vision
  • Blindness

If you’re experiencing any problems with your vision, it’s a good idea to schedule a routine eye exam with your eye doctor. And if you struggle with diabetes or high blood pressure, talk with your primary care provider about the symptoms and treatment for retinopathy. They can refer you to a vision specialist for a retinopathy scan in Grand Forks.

Treatment for Retinopathy

In some instances, no immediate treatment may be needed for someone who is in the early stages of retinopathy. Your eye doctor will want to keep tabs on your eye health, however. Also, your primary care provider will recommend that you learn to manage your diabetes or hypertension. This will lessen the symptoms of retinopathy and may prevent symptoms from worsening.

If you do need retinopathy treatment, this may include medication, laser treatment, or eye surgery.

If you suspect you may have retinopathy, contact Lifetime Vision in Grand Forks, ND. Our friendly and professional staff is happy to sit down with you to discuss your concerns and your options for diagnosis and treatment.

Common Optometric Issues Resulting from Cancer Treatments

Cancer treatment can range depending on the situation. However, chemotherapy, immunotherapy drugs, steroids, and radiation treatment continue to be some of the most commonly used forms of treatment. While effective, these types of cancer treatment can lead to a long list of other health concerns, including problems with your eyes. Here is a look at some of the eye health issues you may experience during cancer treatment.

Dry Eyes or Lacking Tear Production

Dry eyes can be the result of certain medications taken during cancer treatment. For example, steroids and certain chemotherapy drugs may block tear production and lead to your eyes feeling dry and irritated. The eye doctor may be able to help by giving you eye drops that help keep your eye lubricated throughout treatment. As an adage, some patients experience the opposite problem; they deal with excessive tearing.

Sensitivity to Sunlight

Some cancer treatment drugs can actually make you more sensitive to sunlight or UV rays. You may notice that your ordinary sunglasses no longer offer enough protection. You may also notice your eyes seem to burn or get irritated easily when you are outdoors.

Changes in Eye Color

While not as common, some cancer patients do experience changes in eye color during the more intensive forms of treatment like radiation or treatment with chemotherapy drugs. Even though changes in eye color are usually just a cosmetic change, it is important that you have an eye doctor assessing the situation carefully to ensure nothing further is taking place.

Changes in Vision

Blurry vision is perhaps the most common complaint patients have during cancer treatment. Numerous types of treatment can cause changes in your vision. You may notice blurriness, but you may also notice things like:

  • Dark spots in your field of vision
  • Eye floaters
  • Changes in peripheral vision
  • Issues with depth perception

Work with an Optometrist in Grand Forks to Protect Your Eyes During Cancer Treatment

When you find out what your treatment will look like after a cancer diagnosis, it is a good idea to get your eye doctor on board to protect your vision through the process. Reach out to us at Lifetime Vision Center in Grand Forks, ND to schedule an appointment.


Why Regular Eye Exams Are Good For Your Overall Health

In an effort to help protect our community against the global pandemic illness COVID-19, Lifetime Vision Center is currently open for emergency appointments only. But our Grand Forks optometry team is looking forward to opening our doors again for routine eye exams.

Regular exams actually offer significant benefits to your overall well-being. Keep reading to learn how!

3 Reasons Why a Routine Eye Exam is Good for Overall Health

1. An Eye Doctor Can Detect Underlying Health Conditions

Many eye health conditions diagnosed and treated by our Grand Forks optometrist team are related to other underlying problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes. In some cases, we’re able to alert patients to these potential issues even before they’re aware of them!

2. Routine Eye Exams Can Inspire You to Take Better Care of Your Vision and Eye Health

Seeing an eye doctor regularly improves the chances of early detection and treatment of common eye conditions. This helps slow the progression of a disease, manage symptoms, or even prevent issues from occurring in the first place—an important point, since many eye diseases don’t have any signs or symptoms in their earliest stages.

Keeping in regular contact with your eye doctor also boosts your vision care education and helps you keep eye health lifestyle habits in mind, such as:

  • Wearing UV-blocking eyewear
  • Not smoking
  • Keeping prescription eyewear up-to-date
  • Adopting low vision strategies to help compensate for vision loss caused by conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration

3. Routine Eye Exams Help You Establish a Relationship With Your Eye Care Provider

Seeing your eye care provider regularly gives you an important “foot in the door” to the healthcare system. By building a good relationship with your eye doctor, you’ll have someone on your side who knows your health background, needs, and goals. Our Grand Forks optometrist team are proud advocates for our patients and are happy to refer to other specialists and providers as needed to make sure our community has the best experience.


Would you like to schedule your next eye exam so you don’t have to wait for a consultation once our office is open again for non-emergency visits? Contact Lifetime Vision Center at 701.746.6745 today.


woman reading book

Why getting regular eye exams is so important

Your eyes are your window to the world, so you want to do everything you can to protect them, right? One of the most important things you can do is to schedule and keep that yearly eye exam. Consider four reasons annual eye exams matter.

1. Eye exams help you succeed in the world.

An annual eye exam is the only way to ensure you are seeing everything clearly. Those numbers at work can melt together when your eyes are not focusing right and that leads to mistakes, for example. If you are wondering why your eyes get tired or you get headaches each day, maybe your vision is to blame.

man with glasses trying to read

2. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S, and there are over 60 million people in the world that have it. It is also a silent disease, so about half of those people don’t know until it’s too late.

An annual eye exam is the only way to determine if you have glaucoma. The test is a staple part of having your eyes checked, and, like all eye diseases, the sooner you know you have it, the sooner you can start treating it.

3. An annual eye exam can be the first sign you have of other health concerns, too.

Often conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are first suspected by the eye doctor. Not only are your eyes your window to the world, but they are also the window to your health.

4. Because it’s painless.

This isn’t like that trip to the dentist you’ve been putting off. Going the to the eye doctor is a painless, fast and the most stress-free annual checkup on your todo list. The tests take just minutes. You can expect tests such as:

  • Glaucoma test
  • Eye muscle test
  • Visual acuity test
  • Retinal exam

Each one tells an important story about how your eyes are functioning and whether they are healthy. When the testing is done, your prescription can be fine-tuned if necessary.

There are few things worst then squinting your eyes as you struggle to see what’s right in front of you. With an annual eye exam, squinting can be a thing of the past.