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Eye Health and Diabetes

by rt staff writer

It was National Diabetes Awareness Week from 11-17 July and we urge all Australians to get their eyes tested, to avoid uneccessary vision loss that can be caused by diabetes.

Of the 1.4 million people in Australia living with diabetes, 10 per cent are living with Type 1 and 85 per cent are living with Type 21. These statistics highlight how the disease may affect overall health as well as eye health. Regular eye checks utilising digital retinal scans are one of the many ways to detect signs of diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy, before it can cause ongoing, long term damage.

With up to an estimated 500,0002 undiagnosed people living with diabetes currently in Australia, optometrists say it’s important to attend regular eye check-ups.

Elizabeth Kodari, optometrist at OPSM, says: “Many Australians aren’t aware of the link between diabetes and their eye health”.

One of rt health's health partners, OPSM, uses Ultra-Wide Digital Retinal Scanners, which provide a 200-degree view of the back of the eye, allowing the optometrist to view 80 per cent of the retina. This helps identify early signs of eye health concerns, including diabetic retinopathy.

Peter Murphy, OPSM Director of Eyecare and Community, says: “If you are a person living with diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing eye health issues, such as diabetic retinopathy, which has the potential to cause severe vision loss, or even blindness. Regular eye exams can in fact help identify early symptoms of a wide range of health concerns, often leading to awareness, treatment and prevention of problems including diabetic retinopathy.”

“We recommend adults should visit their optometrist at least once every 24 months to ensure their eyes and general health remain in top condition.”

But don’t wait for the next Diabetes Awareness Week to get your eyes tested. Book in an appointment as soon as you can. You can’t put a price on your eyesight.

1 ^About Diabetes Australia. Internet 2020 Available: http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/About-Diabetes-Australia/

2 Diabetes Australia, 2015 https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes


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