Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) can be detected by systematic retinal screening. Diabetes retinal screening is funded by the DHB and some optometrists are contracted to provide the service in the community. Currently this community service is only available in the Greater Wellington Regional Area, Lakes District Health Board (DHB), Tairāwhiti DHB, and Counties Manukau DHB. The aim of the service is to ensure each individual diagnosed with diabetes has received a retinal screen during the preceding 24 months and that their data is transferred to the primary care provider they are enrolled with, and DHB. Entry to this free service is by referral from your general practitioner (GP), who will know which optometrists are able to provide systematic retinal screening.
If diabetic eye disease is detected by your regular optometrist, they will refer you to your GP for diabetes management. This will include regular systematic retinal screening. The majority of patients who have had diabetes for more than a decade will show signs of damage. Early detection helps as patients can be advised on changes to their diet and lifestyle to control blood sugar levels and minimise damage caused to this vital organ.
This does not replace the routine District Health Board screening program, but aims to monitor people between their routine screening or those who may have been lost to follow-up to help get them back into the program.
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This page was last updated at 11:50AM on June 18, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Mahurangi Vision Centre - Warkworth.