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Derbyshire diabetics avoiding vital eye tests

One in four people living with diabetes in Derbyshire are putting themselves at risk of diabetic retinopathy by failing to have their eyes checked.
Retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes. It occurs when prolonged high blood glucose levels damage the small blood vessels within the retina. If left untreated it can affect vision and in severe cases lead to loss of sight.
All diabetics in the UK are offered an annual eye test on the NHS to check for signs of retinopathy. The pain-free test lasts for about 30 minutes and involves taking photos of the back of the eye.
But new figures from NHS Derbyshire County show that a quarter of people in the region are missing out on these vital appointments. The figure is even more concerning given that the number of new diabetes cases in Derbyshire residents over the age of 12 has risen from around 21,000 to 50,000 since 2000.
Linda Syson-Nibbs, nurse consultant in public health for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “We’d urge all diabetic patients to have the test, even if their disease is well controlled, as symptoms of eye disease may not show until they are close to affecting a person’s sight.”

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