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Diabetic RetinaScreen is on target to complete first round of diabetic retinopathy screening for people with diabetes aged 12 and over

Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme is on target to complete its first round of national diabetic retinopathy screening, having already invited in excess of 120,000 people with diabetes aged 12 and over to participate in free, regular screening for diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic RetinaScreen, a Government-funded screening programme, aims to reduce sight loss from diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, by providing regular screening to those with diabetes aged 12 and over.

By the end of 2014, Diabetic RetinaScreen will have invited over 145,000 people with diabetes to attend free screening (using specialised digital photography) at a local screening centre. From 2015 onward, annual invitations for diabetic retinopathy screening will be issued to all those who are registered with the Diabetic RetinaScreen programme. It is expected that the population to be screened will increase each year.

Information is available at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and aged 12 or over, find out if you are on the register at Freephone 1800 45 45 55. Once on the register, you will be invited by letter to attend a free screening at a local screening centre.

Dr David Keegan, Clinical Director of Diabetic RetinaScreen said, “so many people with diabetes in Ireland have already taken this important step towards protecting their sight from diabetic retinopathy by participating in Diabetic RetinaScreen. This screening programme will reduce sight loss among people with diabetes from untreated diabetic retinopathy as when caught early, treatment can reduce or prevent damage to sight. I strongly urge all those with diabetes to ensure they are on the register and that they avail of this important free, regular screening.”

Over time diabetic retinopathy can lead to deterioration in vision and potentially sight loss. All people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms and may not affect the sight until the condition is at an advanced stage. Regular eye screening, using specialised digital photography, can detect the condition at an early stage, before any noticeable symptoms or changes in sight. Any recommended treatment is fully quality assured and provided free of charge at one of the programme designated treatment clinics as part of the screening programme.

Due to its expertise in developing and implementing other population-based screening programmes, the National Screening Service (NSS) is responsible for Diabetic RetinaScreen. Following an open EU tendering process, contracts to provide digital photography and grading services were awarded to Global Vision and MIDRSS Ltd. The achievement of completing the first round of screening is due to the commitment of all involved, including Photography and Grading Services, treatment clinics and staff involved in establishing the programme.

 

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