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Appointments

Screening for diabetic eye disease is typically a routine part of a primary care or general ophthalmology medical appointment. At Mass. Eye and Ear, the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service manages new patients. Appointments for evaluation and treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy by the specialists in the Mass. Eye and Ear Retina Service are scheduled upon referral from the patient's physicians.

  • To make an appointment for a general eye exam and diabetic eye disease screening, please contact the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service at 617-573-3202. 
  • For treatment of diagnosed diabetic retinography, please call the Retina Service at 617-573-3288.

The first appointment for care in the Retina Service may take two to three hours. Upon arrival, you will be first interviewed by a nurse. After all the medical history is taken, you will have your vision and eye pressure checked, followed by dilation. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the pupils to dilate. Once the pupils are dilated, you will be examined by a medical trainee, and then by the attending physician. Depending on the findings, a fluorescein angiogram or an OCT may be ordered.

What to Expect

As part of an initial eye examination in the Retina Service, your ophthalmologist may obtain photographs and a fluorescein angiography. Fluorescein angiogram is very useful in the management of diabetic retinopathy. It is used to evaluate the overall retinal circulation, to establish the presence of macular leakage and to detect the presence of new retinal blood vessels. An OCT (optical coherence tomography) may also be obtained if macular thickening is suspected. During follow-up visits, it is a very useful test to evaluate treatment effectiveness.

Whenever a vision exam or procedure involves dilating the eye, the patient will require an escorted ride home from the doctor's office.