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Diabetic Photoscreening

If you have diabetes, you will no doubt be aware that it can affect your eye sight. It can even have the potential to cause permanent blindness.  Fortunately, you may qualify for the Free Diabetic Photoscreening service. This allows you to easily keep a check on things and treat problems before they become more serious. As a diabetic you should have your eye health checked at least every two years or more frequently if there are changes that need closer follow-up.

Diabetes and retinal disease

Abnormal blood glucose levels change your blood chemistry when you have diabetes. Over time, the retinal blood vessels may be affected and start to leak fluid resulting in vision loss. Some diabetic changes, like cataracts, are treatable.  But other changes may be more serious and have the potential to cause permanent blindness if not detected and treated early.

Photoscreening is an excellent way to record your retinal health and monitor it for any changes. If you do have diabetic retinopathy (retina disease) it is essential that you are managed carefully and can access treatment as soon as possible in order to protect your eyesight.

Background Diabetic Retinopathy

Free Diabetic Photoscreening

Total Eyecare Black Gates Meek & Dong Optometrists are proud to be the pioneers of the Wellington Regional Diabetic Photoscreening Programme. This programme – a partnership between Optometry, the DHB (Hospital) and your Doctor.  Won all three New Zealand Health Innovation Awards at the Inaugural Health Innovation Award Ceremony in 2003.

This service is offered at Calver Optometrists (Johnsonville) and Black Gates Meek & Dong (Lower Hutt).

How to make an appointment for your Diabetic Photoscreening

Contact your Doctor or Diabetic Nurse and arrange a referral for your Free Diabetic Retinal Photoscreening. The referral form from your doctor contains health information that is vital for the interpretation of your retinal images.

Follow up screenings will be booked according to your individual risk profile and referral to the hospital will be arranged automatically where necessary.

What you can expect during the Photoscreening Examination
  • Visual Acuity Measurement – Your normal distance vision is evaluated, with your glasses on (if you normally wear them).Aalso checked through a pinhole to give us an idea of how much blur is optical.
  • Pupil Evaluation – We may need to dilate your pupils if your pupils are not large enough. A large pupil size is essential in order to get the best quality images. It is recommended that you take a bus or taxi, or ask someone to bring you into the appointment. As driving may be difficult afterwards.
  • Retinal Imaging – The images taken are graded and examined while you are with us. The optometrist will point out issues of concern and carefully explain them to you. We will refer you to the hospital if a specialist opinion or treatment is required.
  • Medical Report – We send your doctor a report on the results of the screening immediately. A copy of this report may go the Eye Department so they can arrange to check your retina and organise any treatment that may be needed.

Diabetic Photoscreening is Free. Ask your Doctor if you are eligible or contact us at (04)566 3940