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How many times have you or your child had a retinal photograph as part of your diabetes eye care?


More than twice
























I wasn't aware that a retinal photograph was part of diabetes eye care






I don't know what a retinal photograph is






How many times have you or your child had a retinal photograph as part of your diabetes eye care?

Poll dates: March 18 - 25, 2001
Total Votes: 535

More than 50% of last week's poll respondents were either unaware of the need for a retinal photography or did not what it is. This procedure is known as fundus photography and it extremely important in the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

While vision-threatening retinopathy virtually never appears in type 1 patients in the first 3-5 years of diabetes or before puberty, after 20 years duration of diabetes, nearly all patients with type 1 and more than 60% of patients with type 2 will have some degree of retinopathy. It's progression is orderly, from a few small "dot hemorrhages" to more extensive damage caused by the growth of new blood vessels on the retina to, at it's worst, total blindness. The good news is that if caught early, retinopathy can be treated and permanent vision loss prevented.

The best way to prevent diabetic eye disease is to maintain or improve blood glucose control. Both the DCCT and the UKPDS clearly demonstrated a definitive relationship between retinopathy and blood glucose control. The results of both studies showed that while intensive management does not completely prevent retinopathy, the risk for its development and progression can be significantly reduced.

The key to prevention of vision loss is early detection and treatment. For this reason, the following is recommended in the American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations:

  1. Dilated exams by an eye care provider with experience in the management of diabetic retinopathy. In patients under age 11, this should be performed 5 years after onset, or at puberty (whichever is earlier), and annually thereafter. In patients with post-pubertal onset, a dilated eye exam should be performed at the time of diagnosis and annually thereafter. All pregnant women who have pre-existing diabetes should have a dilated exam done prior to conception and during the first trimester.

  2. The "gold standard" for screening retinopathy is fundus photography. This consists of seven 30-degree fields using stereoscopic techniques through dilated eyes Photography has the advantage over a simple dilated exam because it provides a hard copy, which can be compared with subsequent photographs thereby allowing for early detection of very slight changes. The photographs can be taken by a mobile unit with a camera and a technician and are later assessed by a trained eye care professional.

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Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 16:36:50
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