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From Ohio, USA:

When do children with type 1 need retinal exams? Is it every year? Is it every year beginning with diagnosis or every year after they'd had diabetes for a certain number of years? Why does their blood sugar need to be in range for the exam? Does it need to be in range that day or for a day or more?


The consensus is that patients with type 1 diabetes should have annual dilated retinal exams beginning at five years after diagnosis because diabetic retinopathy is unlikely to develop before then, though (rarely) a patient entering puberty and with poor blood glucose control (glycosylated hemoglobin greater than 9.0%) may develop retinopathy earlier. However, it is important to remember that, just like the rest of the population, young people with diabetes can have other significant eye problems (e.g., congenital cataracts, retinal tumors, glaucoma - the list is long) that are best detected by having a comprehensive, dilated eye exam. Every child should have routine dilated retinal exams.

Blood sugars should be "normalized" as much as possible prior to the exam for several weeks and the day of the exam because blood sugar level affects the eyeglass prescription. You can read about this in my book, Diabetic Eye Disease. As a general rule, the A1c should be less than 7% for adults before checking for glasses and less than 7.5% for kids under 12 years of age.


Original posting 7 Mar 2007
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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