Hubby is recently diagnosed with mild type 2. His MD suggests getting his eyes examined. Our regular eye professional is an experienced optometrist, who I know has many older patients and presumably would know what retinopathy looks like. Are optometrists generally knowledgable enough for diabetics, or should we look for an ophthalmologist?
How about having your husband ask his MD if there is any particular ophthalmologist that he usually refers his patients to? The only problem with going to an optometrist would be that if there is any condition that needs surgery, such as cataracts, who would he refer his patients to? I go to a large group practice which has a number of opthalmologists and some optometrists who work under the MD's supervision. If the optometrists find a problem during a routine exam, they can just send the pt. down the hall. I've been very satisfied with them - their head MD did my cataract surgery, and I've had very good follow-up care from the optometrists.
I agree that he needs to be seen by an ophthamologist, and preferably one who is experienced with diabetics. Even in a group practice, I wouldn't trust my eyes to an optometrist. As far as diabetic retinopathy, the sooner it's discovered, the better in terms of outcome of treatment.
Several years ago, I switched ophthamologists after the one I'd been seeing for several years refused to do a dilated eye exam on me, saying I didn't need one every year because I was "only a Type 2 diabetic." So, even with ophthamologists, make sure you get one who is experienced with diabetes, not just with diabetes in "old" people!
generally an eye specialist doctor is best, some other eye people can be helpful but not all
a frequent result of undiagnosed diabetes is vision changes, caused by increasing diabetic eye damage, and needing frequent changes in specticles
anyone with continuing vision changes should suspect diabetes