Eyesight Problems, Glaucoma Treatment : Diabetic Retinopathy Screen
Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, making eye care for those with diabetes an everyday concern.
70% of people with diabetes will develop changes in their eyes within 15 years of diagnosis and the longer they have diabetes the more likely they are to develop diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most serious condition associated with diabetes. It is one of the leading causes of blindness and occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, which is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
The screening is often done by taking digital photos of the retina with a specialised digital retinal camera. The photos are examined for signs of diabetic retinopathy. A decision is then made as to whether treatment or extra follow up examinations are required.
Diabetic retinopathy is graded in three forms, according to its severity.
- early stages referred to as background diabetic retinopathy,
- maculopathy, when the condition is beginning to affect the central vision,
- proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which in severe cases can lead to blindness.
In addition to regular eye examinations, people living with diabetes can also follow these simple guidelines to help protect their sight.
- keep blood sugar levels under tight control. People who keep these levels closer to normal are less likely to develop retinopathy.
- Control high blood pressure. Having HBP can make eye problems worse. Ideally BP should be 130/80 or lower.
- Smokers should quit as its a high risk factor for developing macular degeneration.
- ensuring your eyes are examined regularly by an Eyecatchers optometrist will enable us to detect any changes occurring due to diabetes.