Diabetes Awareness Week has begun and as part of this campaign, people living with diabetes in Roscommon, Galway and Mayo is being reminded to ensure they are registered for free retinal screening with Diabetic RetinaScreen – The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme.
The programme which is Government-funded, offers free, regular screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, to people with diabetes aged 12 and over. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2016, which takes place on the first day of Diabetes Awareness Week, is ‘Eyes on Diabetes’, and during this campaign, Diabetic RetinaScreen is highlighting the availability of this important service to all diabetics in Ireland and aims to raise awareness of the effects of diabetic retinopathy for those whose condition develops undetected.
The objective of Diabetic RetinaScreen is to reduce the risk of sight loss from diabetic retinopathy. At present, it is estimated that there are approx. 200,000 people living with diabetes in Ireland and 10% of those are at risk of sight threatening retinopathy. To date, Diabetic RetinaScreen has invited over 160,000 people with diabetes to attend free screening (using specialised digital photography) at a local screening centre. Information is available at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and are aged 12 or over, find out if you are on the register at Freephone 1800 45 45 55. If you are on the register, you will be invited by letter to attend a free screening at a local screening centre.
Programme Manager for Diabetic RetinaScreen, Ms Colette Murphy, urged people with diabetes aged 12 and over to connect with the programme.
She said “Make time on Diabetes Awareness Week to check that you are registered with the Diabetic RetinaScreen Programme. If you have yet to take part in the programme register today by contacting the Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or if you have received an invitation please avail of this important free, regular screening”.
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 follow-up investigation or treatment of diabetic retinopathy will be fully quality assured and provided free of charge as part of the programme.
Screening results will be provided within three weeks. A freephone information line (1800 45 45 55) is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6:00pm. Further information can be found at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie.
Diabetic RetinaScreen is part of the HSE’s National Screening Service.