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How often do you or your child get a retinal photograph as part of your diabetes eye care?








Every other year






Less than every other year










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






I don't know what a retinal photograph is






Total votes: 31


How often do you or your child get a retinal photograph as part of your diabetes eye care?

Poll dates: April 22 - 29, 2015
Total Votes: 31

Retinal photography, also known as fundus photography, is an important tool in the early detection of diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that most CWD families report having had a retinal photograph as part of their diabetes eye care.

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, historical data shows that a large number of 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 April 29, 2015 12:01:26
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