Role of Patient in Diabetic Eye Disease
If we could get two messages across to anyone who suffers from diabetes it would be
- Take ownership of your condition
- Attend your annual screening visits
This means learn as much about diabetes as you can and understand the relationship between sugar control, blood pressure control and cholesterol control in helping to lower the prospects of diabetic complications such as eye disease arising in the first place. The more you understand about your condition the more you can exert some influence over it.
For anyone who has attended screening and has been recommended to see a hospital eye specialist:
- DON’T PANIC : Many people are terrified about the prospects and reason for referral “I thought that’s it – I’m going blind” is a common thought. But the criteria for referral is fairly wide and many patients who are referred may not require any specific management and it may be a case of additional re-assurance being sought from the screening teams. However ;
- DO ATTEND the eye clinic : Here you will have a detailed examination of the eye. You will require eye drops to dilate the pupils so you will probably not be able to drive for a few hours afterwards.
Finally at Bettersight we have learned that poor attendances at eye clinics and other diabetic services seems to be related to poorer eventual outcomes so we urge all patients who have been requested to attend the hospital or GP services to always make sure you turn up ! It does seem to make a positive difference.
Finally : Please try to quit smoking if you are a smoker.