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10 years of saving sight across North Yorkshire

Retinal screening - group

Diabetic retinopathy is the number one treatable cause of visual loss in the UK among 16-64 year olds and can have a devastating impact if not detected.

Since 2008 the North Yorkshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme has been successfully offering eye screening for people with diabetes in the region and recently celebrated 10 years of saving sight.

Diabetic eye screening is a key part of diabetes care. Diabetic retinopathy, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the blood vessels at the back of the eye, can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. It is the most common cause of sight loss in people of working age.

Shelley Widdowson, retinal screening grading manager, said: “The programme has gone from screening 29,000 patients in 2008 to over 40,000 people today, and covers a large geographical area. We offer appointments to everyone with diabetes over the age of 12.

“Often people with sight threatening retinopathy have no visual symptoms, and by the time the symptoms become noticeable, it can be much more difficult to treat.

“Screening reduces the risk of sight loss by detecting sight threatening changes that you don’t notice, and this is why attending a screening appointment is so important. We have an increasing number of patients at risk needing eye screening and our aim is to make sure we offer convenient, local screening appointments.”

The screening team travels across North Yorkshire as far as the East coast to meet people in their communities, visiting more than 110 GP practices and health centres.

Anyone with diabetes concerned that they may need screening should contact their GP.

25 October 2018

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“Screening reduces the risk of sight loss by detecting sight threatening changes that you don’t notice, and this is why attending a screening appointment is so important."

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