This National Diabetes Week, Specsavers in Port Talbot is lending its support by encouraging residents to book a sight test to help manage their eye health.
Diabetic retinopathy screening
In Wales, individuals who have diabetes are screened for diabetic retinopathy through the Diabetic Eye Screening Wales (DESW) Service.
However, this National Diabetes Week, Specsavers in Port Talbot is reminding diabetics that they should also have regular sight tests with an optometrist, in addition to their annual diabetic retinopathy screening, to check the overall health of their eyes and to detect for other sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts.
500,000 at risk
Nick King, store director at Specsavers in Port Talbot, says: ‘In Wales alone, it is estimated that there is around 177,000 people living with diabetes and a further 70,000 that have the condition but are unaware of it. In addition to this, it is suspected that more than half a million people in Wales could be at high risk of developing it.
‘Looking after your eye health is extremely important, particularly if you are diabetic, because a person is more at risk of developing a complication with their eyes. That’s why we’re urging diabetics in the local area to make sure they have a routine sight test every two years, to have an overall check-up on the health of their eyes, which is in addition to diabetic retinopathy screening.
‘Regular eye examinations can prevent eye damage associated with diabetes as early detection and treatment prevents sight loss.’
Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in the UK’s working age population. Around 40% of those suffering from type one diabetes and 20% with type two diabetes will develop some sort of diabetic retinopathy, which is a form of damage to the layer of cells at the back of the eye that can become blocked or leak, affecting a person’s retina and vision.