Keep an eye on your health

Local GPs are reminding diabetes patients to keep an eye on their health, ahead of National Eye Health Week, Monday 22 to Sunday 28 September 2014.

Approximately 4,200 people each year are at risk of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. The NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme aims to reduce the high rates of diabetic retinopathy, known as sight loss, through early diagnosis and effective treatment.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts rather like the film in a camera. Screening is offered each year to patients aged 12 and over with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and involves taking digital photographs of the retina. These photographs detect changes in your eyes, and along with effective treatment can help stop retinopathy developing.

The programme also supports patients to manage their blood sugar levels and blood pressure, which is a major cause of patients developing retinopathy.

Dr Sam Everington Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP said:

“Loss of sight has a permanent and life changing impact. The programme supports patient’s to keep an eye on their health and to manage their condition. Early diagnosis can successfully lead to patients leading a life where they are able to enjoy a healthy and active life.

“I am encouraging patients with diabetes to speak to their GP or visit the programme’s website to see where your closest screening location is. It only takes 30mins and could really make a difference in your life.”

Patients will be sent screening results within three weeks of their appointment and results will also be sent to their GP.

If would like more information about the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme visit www.diabeticeye.screening.nhs.ukor speak to your GP.