Biennial eye exam suggested for diabetics

December 27, 2007

New York-Receiving an eye screening every 2 years instead of annually is just as effective for people with diabetes who have no signs of retinal disease when it comes to not delaying treatment, according to Icelandic researchers in the December issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

New York-Receiving an eye screening every 2 years instead of annually is just as effective for people with diabetes who have no signs of retinal disease when it comes to not delaying treatment, according to Icelandic researchers in the December issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

"Diabetic blindness is one of the most common causes of blindness in the world," investigator Einar Stefansson, MD, PhD, told Reuters Health, "and in many countries, for example, [in the] United Kingdom, the most common cause for working-age people going blind."

"The prevalence of diabetic blindness has been and can be decreased by 50 to 80% with the public health approach," he said. "Thousands of people around the world are blind because of inadequate public health organization in eye care."

While observing 296 patients with diabetes and no retinopathy during 1994 and 1995, who following this had biennial screenings for 10 years, 172 patients did not develop diabetic retinopathy.

Those who had developed macular edema or proliferative retinopathy went to an annual screening program before sight-threatening retinopathy developed.