Diabetes Scotland have joined forces with RNIB Scotland to raise awareness of diabetic retinopathy and the importance of regular eye screening. Their campaign, How Do You See Scotland?, is supported by Hollywood actor Brian Cox.
Brian Cox says: “Like many Scots, I’m living with diabetes and I’m aware of the various challenges it can bring. So I make sure I attend my appointments, including retinopathy screening. Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Get your eyes checked.”
About Retinopathy and Screening
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to sight loss and blindness. But, if changes to your eyes are detected early enough through retinopathy screening, it can be successfully treated to prevent permanent damage.
Retinopathy screening is a special eye exam which every person with diabetes, age 12 or over, should have annually (or within 15 months). This is an important health check which is part of your 15 Healthcare Essentials.
According to latest figures from the Scottish Diabetes Survey 2016, over 42,000 of the 287,336 people who are eligible for diabetic retinopathy screening in Scotland do not have any record for the previous 15 months.
Campbell Chalmers, director of RNIB Scotland, said: “Retinopathy is the single biggest cause of preventable sight loss among working-age people. That’s why it’s so important that everyone with diabetes attends the eye check-ups that are an essential part of their diabetes care.
“During National Eye Health week we want to urge people to take care of one of the most precious things we have – our sight!”
Jane-Claire Judson, national director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “It is very concerning that over 42,000 people with diabetes in Scotland do not have a record of attending a retinopathy screening appointment in the last 15 months. Screening is vital to pick up early warning signs of damage to the eye so that people can get the treatment needed to prevent permanent damage.
“We need to understand why people are not attending their screening appointments and what can be done to remove these barriers. We hope the How Do You See Scotland? campaign will raise awareness of the issue and encourage more people to attend this essential diabetes healthcare service.”.