Friday 18 August 2017

Diabetes – spotting the signs in your eye exam

It is important that a routine eye examination is carried out at least once every two years, to help stop avoidable sight loss and to detect any serious underlying health conditions - including diabetes.

Photographing the back of the eye using the fundus camera, a specialised low-power microscope with an attached camera, can help to spot and monitor the development of this increasingly common condition.

The fundus camera is used to take a digital photograph of the interior surface of the eye, called the fundus, which is the only part of the human body where tiny capillaries and the microcirculation of the blood can be observed directly.

This painless process can help to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the retina associated with diabetes, which can lead to vision loss if left untreated.

Diabetes affects the small blood vessels and capillaries of the body. The walls of these vessels can develop small bulges and become ‘leaky’.

Diabetic changes can occur in the blood vessels at the back of the eye, where haemorrhages (blood leaking out of the vessels) and oedema (leaking fluid) can sometimes be seen during an eye examination.

All Specsavers optometrists are trained to spot a range of health conditions as part of an eye examination. Specsavers stores throughout Ireland offer fundus screening as part of the eye examination at no extra cost, if you are aged over 40 or if your optician or GP recommends that you need it.

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