For the June meeting of the Group we had a very interesting talk from Vanessa Jones from the Gloucestershire Retinal Screening Team based at Gloucester Royal Hospital. Whilst most present have had their eyes screened, some over quite a few years, the presentation was a timely reminder on the importance of the retinal screening program.
Vanessa explained the reasons and origins of the screening programme, which aims to ensure all those diagnosed with diabetes receive an annual eye scan. Also we learnt about the physiology of our eyes and most importantly the effects diabetes can have if not properly controlled and not having a regular retinal scan.
The main problem diabetes causes in the eye is that of bleeding from the veins, and whilst if caught early can be very easily corrected with very short 10 – 15 minute laser surgery, if not caught early however can lead to reduced vision or in some cases complete blindness.One important fact is that it is not always possible for the individual to detect if they have any problems as depending where the bleed initially start in the eye they may not affect the vision to begin with but will develop over time if not corrected.
If you have not been having an annual scan, contact your GP or Diabetes nurse to find out why and arrange for one to be done as soon as possible.
Therefore, the bottom line is, do not lose sight of the importance of your retinal screening, always ensure you have your annual scan.