Diabetic retinopathy screening

Current ocular therapies can prevent more than 90% of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, and, critically, the clinical threshold for administering vision-preserving treatment may precede any visual symptoms.

For this reason, a retinopathy screening strategy for all individuals with diabetes remains paramount. 


Guidelines recommend annual screening for those without retinopathy beginning 5 years after being diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes and at the time of being diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.


American Diabetes Association screening recommendations are similar but allow for consideration of examinations every 2 years for select patients with well-controlled T2D.


For type 2 diabetes patients who achieve recommended glycemic goals and who have no retinopathy, it may be safe to extend screening intervals for diabetic retinopathy to four years or longer.


Patients with T2D are at increased risk for cataract, glaucoma, and other vision-threatening eye conditions beyond diabetic retinopathy. 


Digital nonmydriatic (undilated) fundus photography allows retinopathy screening to occur in any location.

 The screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy has been consistently found to be cost-effective due to the societal costs of severe vision loss.


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