The worldwide rise of diabetes, and its complications, means there is an increasing need for health professionals to consider the possibility of diabetic eye disease even before the symptoms begin to show.
Diabetic retinopathy may be asymptomatic until an advanced stage and then it is often too late for effective treatment, therefore it is imperative to support people in managing their diabetes and to have regular eye screening.
People with diabetes need to be supported to play an active role in managing their diabetes. By improving their blood glucose and blood pressure control a person with diabetes can slow down the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Most people with diabetic retinopathy do not have to go blind, however for early detection and treatment to be successful, regular screening for diabetic retinopathy must be integrated into their diabetes care, where timely detection, management and referral of diabetic retinopathy are facilitated.