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One in two people with diabetes are unaware they have the disease.

Diabetes can affect your eye in a number of ways:

Diabetic retinopathy: this is a serious eye condition where the network of blood vessels supplying the retina become blocked or leak, causing vision loss.

Diabetic macula oedema: this involves the leakage of fluid and blood components into the macula. It causes severely blurred vision in the centre of the visual field.

Cataract: the lens inside your eye may also be affected, especially when diabetes is uncontrolled, resulting in blurring of vision which comes and goes over the day, depending on your blood sugar levels. A longer-term effect of diabetes is that the lens of your eye can go cloudy, this is called a cataract.

Unfortunately, one in two patients with diabetes are unaware they have the disease. If diabetes goes undetected and a patient’s blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, they may develop diabetic retinopathy and not be aware of the disease in their eye until vision loss occurs. Even patients who are aware of their diabetes may not notice problems with their vision until significant damage to their eye has occurred already. The key to reducing the chance of sight loss is early detection and commencement of treatment.

Why should I have a SPECTRALIS® 4D HD Eye Health Check?

The SPECTRALIS 4D HD Eye Health Check is much more than your standard sight test. It employs the use of a high-tech eye scanner, called the SPECTRALIS, to scan your eyes and look for very early signs of diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases.

What is the difference between diabetic eye screening and the 4D HD Eye Health Check?

Diabetic eye screening is a relatively short examination that can indicate the presence of changes in the eye due to diabetes. Diabetic eye screening does not test your eyes for the full range of diseases however, such as glaucoma. The 4D HD Eye Health Check is part of a more comprehensive eye examination and provides much more information about the health of your eye. Your healthcare provider will look for signs of any eye disease, not just diabetes associated changed, and will be able to see changes in your retina in the very early stages of disease.

Early detection and rapid referral for treatment are key to saving sight.

Having the ability to scan your eyes for changes and monitor the progression of these changes over time is the key to detecting eye disease and minimising the risk of sight loss. Research shows that if diabetic retinopathy is identified early and treated appropriately, blindness can be prevented in 90 per cent of those at risk.

With the SPECTRALIS, your eye care professional can measure tiny changes in your eye over time to 1/1000 millimetre at every visit. They will keep a record of all your check-ups and be able to compare past scans with current ones to check for early signs of diabetic retinopathy or monitor a confirmed case of the disease. The result is a truly 4-dimensional eye health check. The 4D HD Eye Health Check offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing if your eyes are healthy or that your eye care professional will see the smallest change before you do.

Where can I find out more about diabetic retinopathy?

You can find out more about the different types, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma here here: http://www.nhs.uk/