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Diabetic eye disease


Whatever type of diabetes you may suffer from your eyes can be affected to the extent that you may even be at risk of losing of sight. Most sight loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented but it is vital that it is diagnosed early.  Because the individual is usually unaware of the sight threatening changes taking place regular eye examinations are crucial.


Following diagnosis you may experience some blurring until your blood sugars are brought under control.  Once under control, your vision should return to normal.


Diabetic Retinopathy


People with diabetes are at risk of developing a complication called retinopathy.  Retinopathy affects the blood vessels supplying the retina – the seeing part of the eye.  Blood vessels in the retina of the eye can become blocked, leaky or grow haphazardly.  Keeping blood glucose and blood pressure and blood fat levels under control will help to reduce the risk of developing retinopathy.  But, your best protection against retinopathy is having your eyes screened regularly.Retinopathy screening is different from a general eye examination, which checks that you can see properly, that your spectacles if needed are correct and that your eyes are healthy.Retinopathy can be treated by laser which is very successful if the condition is caught early and is generally pain free.  In 80 percent of cases it can prevent any further loss of sight.


So remember, although your vision may be good, changes in your retina may be occurring.  Most sight loss is preventable.  Always have an eye examination every year.  Where possible, have retinal photography to aid the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. Do not wait until your vision has deteriorated before making an appointment.


Our Professionals have been carrying out Diabetic retinopathy screening on behalf of the NHS for the past 10 years. This first class service was delivered free of charge to patients.There have been recent changes in NHS arrangements with the effect thatDiabetics who live within the Redbridge and Waltham Forest PCT areas can only receive NHS funded Diabetic retinopathy screening at designated health centers within the PCT area.


We continue to offer Diabetic retinopathy screening for the private fee of £35.00.NHS eye examinations for diabetics (not including Retinopathy screening) continue to be Free at the point of delivery

There are currently over 2.5 million people with diabetes in the UK and there are more than half a million people with diabetes who have the condition and don’t know it.


It is essential for people with diabetes to have an annual eye examination with your optometrist.  This is provided by the NHS.


















Diabetes types


There are two main types of diabetes. These are:

•T  Type 1 diabetes

•  Type 2 diabetes


Type 1

Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin. This type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40.  Type 1 diabetes is the least common of the two main types and accounts for between 5 – 15% of all people with diabetes.


Type 2

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). In most cases this is linked with being overweight. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian and African-Caribbean people often appears after the age of 25. However, recently, more children are being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven. Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two main types and accounts for between 85 - 95% of all people with diabetes.



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