What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Australians aged 20 to 65.
Diabetic eye screening is an essential part of diabetic care, because if you have been diagnosed, you are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy - a condition that if untreated, can lead to blindness.
Screening detects changes in your eyes at an early stage when vision loss can be reduced or prevented.
How often should you be screened?
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it is recommended that you have diabetic eye screening every 1-2 years.
What happens during a screening?
You may be given eye drops to dilate your pupils so detailed photographs of your eyes can be taken. The entire procedure will last no more than 30 minutes.
What may be discovered?
Your diabetic eye screening exam may discover one of three things:
All clear (no signs of diabetic retinopathy).
Early signs of diabetic retinopathy (follow-up treatment required).
Advanced diabetic retinopathy (immediate treatment required).
Early stage: Mild or moderate diabetic retinopathy may not require any specific eye treatment other than close monitoring and strict blood sugar control.
Advanced stage: Severe diabetic retinopathy will require immediate treatment. Options include Focal laser treatment, Scatter laser treatment, Vitrectomy or Injections.