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Screening for diabetic eye disease

Screening for diabetic eye disease

Wednesday 06 November 2013

The importance of attending for regular screening for diabetic eye disease is reinforced by the findings of a study conducted by researchers from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in the UK.

People who suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy. This is caused when blood vessels supplying the eye either start to leak, become blocked, or new blood vessels start to form in the wrong places. Diabetic eye disease is a major cause of blindness in the western world, and all diabetics are entitled to a yearly free eye examination so that early signs of eye problems can be picked up and treated appropriately.

In the study, the researchers investigated the incidence of existing eye disease in nearly 5,000 newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetics, and how this disease progressed over an average period of five years. They found that 6% of people already had severe eye disease at the time of their first eye examination. However, a particularly worrying finding was that, once a person had signs of eye disease, it could often progress quite quickly to severe disease.


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