Info for Health Professionals
RVEEH Retinopathy Poster
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Keep an eye on your eyes: Diabetic Retinopathy
What is Retinopathy?
Retinopathy is an eye condition caused when Diabetes weakens the delicate blood vessels inside the eye. Serious loss of eyesight can occur if these weakened blood vessels break and fluid leaks into the back of the eye (the retina).
Who is at risk of developing Retinopathy?
Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.
How do I know if I have Retinopathy?
It's easy -- just get a simple eye test at least every 2 years from the time you are first diagnosed with Diabetes.
Regular eye checks are vital even if you have Retinopathy because:
- Your eyesight may be normal
- You may have no pain
- You may be unaware of damage to your eyes
Who can check my eyes?
- Ophthalmologist (eye doctor)
- Diabetes Specialist or
- Family Doctor
How will my eyes be examined?
Special eye drops will be put into your eyes to make it easier for the person checking your eyes to see the blood vessels at the back of your eye.
If I have Retinopathy, can it be treated?
Yes. An Ophthalmologist will use laser - a very powerful light beam - to seal any weak blood vessels in your eyes and prevent them from leaking.
If my eyesight has been affected, will treatment restore it?
The laser treatment will help maintain your eyesight but may not restore any vision already lost because of Retinopathy.
How can I prevent Retinopathy?
- Blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible
- Normal blood pressure
- Normal levels of cholesterol in the blood
Seek help from a Diabetes Specialist or Family Doctor to better manage your diabetes.
Get your eyes regularly checked - at least every 2 years from the time you are diagnosed with Diabetes. This applies to children as well.
If you have Diabetes and your eyesight changes, seek medical help immediately.
Keep an eye on your eyes. Get them checked regularly
For more information on Diabetes and your eyesight contact
The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital on (03) 9929 8666 or speak to your Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Specialist, Family Doctor, Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.
© The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital (November 2001)
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