June marked Diabetes Awareness Week (12-18 June) and Specsavers Victoria Square in Belfast supported the week by encouraging local people to take an eye examination which can detect the condition and help save diabetics’ sight.
UK wide there are 3.9 million known diabetes sufferers and at least half a million more are unaware they have the condition. Around 30% of diabetics will develop some sort of diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness. However if it is detected early and treated, blindness can be prevented in 90% of cases. (Statistics sourced from RNIB).
Impact of eye test
Neal Kerr, optometrist and Belfast Victoria Square store director said, ‘Eye checks do more than just test your vision. By examining your retina an optometrist can detect eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma and they can also detect signs of many other conditions such as diabetes. An eye test can in fact be the first indicator of diabetes. Many diabetes sufferers can remain undiagnosed for up to 10 years meaning it is not unusual for people to be already suffering from complications when it is first diagnosed.’