Diabetic eye disease

The tissue, nerve and blood vessel changes that occur in diabetes can affect the body in a number of ways, and the eye is no exception.  Diabetic retinopathy is the major potential threat to vision amongst the diabetic population and is characterised by. 

However, the most important effect that needs to be checked for is diabetic retinopathy - damage to the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of our eyes.  Diabetic retinopathy can, if severe enough, lead to blindness.  Careful and regular monitoring of eye health is essential to minimise the risks associated with diabetes.   

How can Sharpe & Fowler help?

A diabetic eye examination involves checking the vision and the health of the eye.  The back of the eye, where diabetic retinopathy is seen is carefully examined. Usually a set of digital images are taken of the retina which give us the ability to monitor any changes that occur over time.  We'll be able to show you the photos on the day, to help explain any changes we see.  Your GP will also be sent a report of our findings. 

Usually, dilating drops are needed to get the best view of the back of the eye.  If you have an appointment for a diabetic review, remember to bring some sunglasses to help reduce the glare afterwards.  Either arrange someone else to drive you, or plan to have some time in town until your vision returns to normal.   

How often should people with diabetes have their eyes examined?

  • Current guidelines recommend that everyone has a diabetic eye examination when they are first diagnosed with diabetes. 
  • If there are no signs of change in the retina, they should be reviewed again every 1-2 years. 
  • If changes in the retina are seen, then depending on the severity, review may be more frequent, or they may be referred to an ophthalmologist for treatment. 
  • If you are diabetic, and feel that there has been a change to your vision, your eyes should be seen promptly even if you are not due for your next review. 

Diabetic support and help

Diabetes Australia - Tasmania

Diabetes Australia - National

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