The Diabetic Eye Screening Program (DESP) screens for Diabetic Retinopathy. The term Diabetic Retinopathy has two main components. The “Diabetic” part indicates that it affects people who have diabetes. The “Retinopathy” part of the term indicates that it affects the retina. The retina is part of the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals. When your brain interprets these signals, you are able to see. If your retina is damaged, you suffer vision loss. Inside your eyes, blood vessels bring nutrients and oxygen to keep your eyes healthy. When diabetes is poorly controlled, it can cause the small blood vessels that service the retina to leak (bleed) or become blocked. Left untreated, Diabetic Retinopathy could damage your retina and cause blindness. Screening could detect Diabetic Retinopathy even before you notice changes in your vision. Early detection could allow you to maintain your vision and have a good quality of life. Diabetic Retinopathy is treatable especially if it is caught early. Thus, screening could prevent you from going blind!
Diabetic Retinopathy screening that uses digital photography is most commonly prescribed for all diabetics over the age of 12 years. Its benefits include early detection of changes in the retina, appropriate advice and treatment to preserve eyesight. Early detection could prevent blindness. Diabetic Retinopathy screening also helps detect other eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts which tends to occur often in diabetics.
Diabetic Retinopathy screening lets you know whether or not your diabetes is damaging your eyes. Thus, Diabetic Retinopathy screening is a key component of diabetes care. Untreated diabetes could lead to blindness. Early detection could prevent over 90% of diabetics from going blind in about 10 years. Changes in your vision are not noticeable in the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy. Screening allows for changes to be detected before you notice any changes in your vision. Detection and appropriate intervention reduces risk of preventable sight loss. If you are diabetic, accept the responsibility for preventing yourself from going blind. Get screened once per year.
1. We put dilating drops in each eye to temporarily make your pupils larger. This allows the photographer to get a better view of the inside of the eye. Some people may find that the dilating drops sting. 2. We take digital photographs of the back of your eyes. The equipment never comes into direct contact with your eye. 3. Your appointment lasts approximately 30-45 minutes. 4. Your photographs are reviewed by trained professionals. The review team includes trained graders and doctors. 5. We email a report with your results to your doctor or optometrist within 2 weeks of your visit. 6. We email a report with your results to you within 2 weeks of your visit OR prepare a letter with your
This procedure typically takes 30-45 minutes.
No anesthesia is used for this procedure.
A technician will discuss the procedure with you and answer all of your questions. He/she will also interview you to get your medical history, collect data for research and ask you to sign forms saying you understand what will be done during the procedure and you consent to your data being used for research, once it is anonymized.
We recommend that you bring sunglasses as your eyes can be sensitive to light after dilation. You should not use your eyes to work or drive for 4 to 6 hours.
Dilation impairs your vision for 4 to 6 hours. Do not plan on driving for 4-6 hours after these tests. We recommend that you come with a driver. Bring sunglasses as your eyes can be sensitive to light after dilation.
The different activities performed in diabetic retinopathy screening are carried out by a team of professionals. The team includes a clinic aide, a retinal photographer, a retinal grader and an ophthalmologist.