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Diabetic Eye Disease Screening
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Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects many aspects of a patient’s health. It can affect vision through a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. The retina is layer of nerve cells lining the back wall inside the eye. The retina allows light to be perceived for vision. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease where elevated blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. The damaged blood vessels can swell, leak, or can prevent blood from passing through. Enough damage to the existing blood vessels can lead to the formation of abnormal new blood vessels on the retina.

 

Diabetic retinopathy is a treatable disease that can be prevented with proper screening.

A dilated eye exam is all that it takes to screen for diabetic retinopathy. Screening for diabetic retinopathy is important for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics should have a diabetic eye exam five years after their diagnosis, but Type 2 diabetics should be screened for the presence of diabetic retinopathy when they are diagnosed. Screening should occur once per year with findings properly communicated to the primary care physician. Progression of existing disease can occur with near-normal blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Treatment of diabetic retinopathy can be done with injections in the eye or laser treatment.

 

 

For additional information, please see the following links:

 

https://www.aao.org/preferred-practice-pattern/diabetic-retinopathy-ppp-updated-2017

 

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/anatomy/retina-103


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