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Diabetic Retinopathy screening

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by stevie24, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. stevie24

    stevie24 · Member

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    Hi All,

    I have been diagnosed as type one for 2yrs and have not yet had a retinopathy screening yet, this is partly my fault and partly NHS, I should have chased it as much as them. Anyway, I have always been squeamish about my eyes, can somebody tell me what the test involves and also what the treatment involves if needed after screening proves problems exist? Also does anybody know the chances of developing eye problems as a type one that the screening will pick up? I am considering opting out to be honest so just wondered about this stuff before making an informed decision,

    Many Thanks
     
  2. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    I have been for the screening three times now. It involves putting some drops in your eyes and then putting your chin in a chinstrap and staring into lenses. The camera operator says look left/right etc. Then you have to read a chart and that's about it.

    I don't know what any treatment involves since my results have been clear so far.

    The sort of problems this screening will pick up is damage to the fine blood vessels serving the retina. Problems here can result in bleeding or blindness.
     
  3. garythegob

    garythegob · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Steve, diabetic retinopathy consists of having 2 lots of drops put into your eyes, first one just numbs the eyeball and the second one opens the pupils up fully, you then have to wait for approx 15 minutes to allow the second drops to work then they take you into a room and you sit in front of what is basically a huge camera, and the optician takes 1 or more photos of your eyes, (i had this done last week) PLEASE NOTE, you should not drive yourself to the optician for this procedure as the drops make your pupils so wide, even on a dull overcast day everything will appear very very bright and your vision will be blurred, and if you have an accident, YOUR INSURANCE WILL BE NULL AND VOID

    bASICALLY WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR IS BURST BLOOD VESSELS inside THE EYE BALL WHICH, IF THEY ARE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE OPTIC NERVE (I THINK THATS THE CORRECT PLACE) IT CAN CAUSE BLINDNESS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY I CANT SAY ANYTHING ON TREATMENT IF THAT HAPPENS TO HAPPEN TO YOU OR ME OR ANYONE ELSE
     
  4. garythegob

    garythegob · Well-Known Member

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    HAVE JUST NOTICED YOUR LAST COMMENT ON YOUR POST STEVE ABOUT OPTING OUT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,PLEASE DO NOT OPT OUT, AS THIS CAN PICK UP PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY CAN DEVELOP AND THEY CAN SORT IT OUT BEFORE YOU GO BLIND,,,,,,,,,,,,YOU OPT OUT, THEY CANT HELP YOU :D
     
  5. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stevie I would have to agree totally with Gary, the whole point of screening is to pick up any retinopathy in its earliest stages before any major damage is caused.

    Please dont avoid this free service it is vitally important for the sake of your eyesight.

    The retinopathy testing process is quick and apart from a momentary slight stinging when the drops are applied is totally painless. It really is important and the thought of it is far worse than the actual test. :D
     
  6. linsay

    linsay · Well-Known Member

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    Hi treatment for this is not nice i wont lie. They use a laser that burns the blood vessels to stop them bleeding. You dont feel it or shouldnt as u get anasthetic eye drops but may get a sore head later. It depends how bad it is on how long and often you need. I had to have a lot when i was pregnant as the growth hormone makes this problem worse. I absolutely hated going but if i hadnt i would be blind by now. Im very grateful for the treatment

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  7. pav

    pav Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't opt out of it as it can save your sight. As said before they put drops in your eyes and take photos of them, my hospital takes 2 photos of each eye to capture with you looking at 2 different referance points.

    They generally show you the photos there and then, so you get a rough indication if the blood vessels are ok. The photos are then checked at the hospital on a large screen to enable them to do a full check, you then get a letter stating if you are all clear or I assume a appointment if you need treetment.

    As said before don't drive afterwoods as even wearing sunglasses any light can seam very bright.

    Some optictions will also photograph your eyes as a routine on your annual eye test, for their records and to see if there are any differences, they may or may not use eye drops, worth checking if they do before you go for a eye test.
     
  8. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Im not sure as to why the NHS hasnt contacted you for the annual eye check retinopathy screening, but like others have said, you should go just to make sure that your eyes are ok or not.

    Specsavers now do a fairly good eye scan service using the latest technology so do pop in to see them and book at appointment. An optician will go over the details from the eye scan with you and explain whether anything is wrong and what can be done to put the problem right.

    Dont bury your head in the sand..... go and get your eyes checked out..
     
  9. jojo7

    jojo7 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi,
    I have been told I had been undiagnosed for a long time, so on my screening slight damaged was picked up but not enough to affect my sight.I was asked back for a 6 monthly check but there has been no change so far! I didnt need the eye drops as apparently I have 'large pupils' and a clear image was taken without - dont know if this is normal!!
     
  10. stevie24

    stevie24 · Member

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    Thanks for the feedback all, general consensus is not to opt out then, and does anybody know about the prevalence or statistics around developing these sorts of complication?
     
  11. Tracyplum

    Tracyplum Type 2 · Active Member

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    I was diagnosed T2 in January and had my first screening today. My eyes stung for a minute or so once the drops were popped in then a wait for 15, 2 photos of each eye and then bye bye. It was really simple and straight forward. The only problem I had was not being able to read my text for a few hours on my phone. I didn't realise I used my phone so much!


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  12. MCMLXXIII

    MCMLXXIII Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    They recommend you don't drive after the drops so if its of any use to anyone make alternative travel arrangements.
    When i went they said my pupils were so naturally dilated they took the photograph without the iodine drops.
    I wasted four quid on a daysaver that day!

    Sent from my KFTT using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
  13. mrawfell

    mrawfell · Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind me saying so,stop looking for opt outs, you want the stats to justify not going. Everybody has strongly recommened testing. Remember testing doesn't force you to do anything further, but IF they find something then you have to decide, do you want to go blind slowly, or get it fixed.
     
  14. JontyW

    JontyW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Retinopathy will occur if you have high BG readings (typically HbA1c of > 7.5%) over an extended period and the longer the period and higher the BG then the greater the potential damage, which then requires laser treatment once detected on the annual eye screening.

    In my own experience, I've been Type 1 for 40+ years, maintained my HbA1c about 7.5% on average, and never needed any laser treatment. The screening just showed .."some background changes, but no treatment required".

    As said by others, it is VITAL that you attend the annual eye screening so that, if problems are found ...
    1) laser treatment is done to overcome the damage, and
    2) you are made aware that you need to improve your BG control to prevent more damage being done in the future

    JontyW
     
  15. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    I'm just waiting for the results of my lates test.It was done about 3 weeks ago. So about 1 more to wait!
    I had one set of eyedrops, which stung a bit [they always do] and then 2 photos taken of each eye.
    If you want to see what they are looking for; Google Imaged Diabetic retina. I was allowed by the tehnician to look at my photos on her computer screen. Of course they were smallish and I'd had the drops so I couldn't see much detail. Still there was nothing obviously scary there.
    It's not an unpleasant experience. Especially if the technician is friendly as mine was.
    I've had it done regularly over the last few years and always OK
    Hana
     
  16. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My last photos seemed clear to me, but what do I know? They've asked me back for a monitoring screening in 6 months time.

    Look at it this way - we get screened, at no expense to ourselves, every 12 months. The screening can pick up problems that have nothing whatsoever to do with diabetes. In this respect, as diabetics we are privileged indeed - far better service than the rest of the population, many of whom never go to the optician until they have problems!

    As a contact lens wearer, I find it easier to wear my glasses instead on screening day. I've done both, and lenses seem to emphasise the brightness when my pupils are dilated. You have to take gas-permeable lenses out anyway - don't know about soft, but I would think so.

    Viv 8)
     
  17. delphi

    delphi · Member

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    Re: Diabetic Retinopathy screening - only at hospital

    The appointment for retinal screening has come through for my husband. For all sorts of reasons this is in a bad location and time . Speaking to the pharmacist in boots she says the Boots and other opticians are the equivalent. Sure they can't treat, but they can screen. It only costs £10.00. As I'm so neurotic about this I will probably make him have it done more often than the Nhs anyway.

    Do you think having it done at an opticians would be okay - I am going to assume the GP has targets / incentives tied around attendance via the nhs and box ticking for screening programmes so won't like it.

    What do you think ?
     
  18. Dippie

    Dippie · Newbie

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    I was diagnosedin October, I had my first eye screen in December and the results came back as background retinopathy. I asked if the camera test was the same as the findus test you can have/pay for at the optician, they told me it's similar but not the same! I'm being retested this December but may see the optician on between as a year seems a long time to leave it?!


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  19. linsay

    linsay · Well-Known Member

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    The only thing about having it done at the hospital is that if u do need treatment they do it there and then. This is what happened with me but not sure if that would be the case everywhere and for everyone.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  20. pav

    pav Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    delphi, you should not have to pay for the photo at the opticians, places like specsavers include it as part of the eye test which is free as a diabetic.

    I used to have my eyes photographed at the opticians (with the eye drops), and then they referred one to hospital if required. While the opticians do not use the eye drops on me now they still take the photos and I assume they still check them. I now get 2 check ups a year as my eye test and hospital test are around 6 months apart.

    The hospital after the intial veiwing while you wait then re-screen the photos on a larger screen to see if theres any damage to the minor blood veessels. The hospital eye drops to me were a lot stronger than what the opticans use to enable them to get a better picture.
     
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