A new Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) report,, reveals that thousands of people in the UK are needlessly losing their sight every year through treatable conditions like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma
It also shows that more than half of all sight loss is avoidable.The report says that unknowingly 1.9 million people with diabetes, who aren't having regular eye tests and 250,000 people with early-stage glaucoma, are at high risk of losing their sight
Thousands more are living with sight loss because they are simply wearing the wrong glasses or not seeking treatment for cataracts. In total, more than two million people in the UK are at risk of needlessly losing their sight.
Retinopathy is caused when the blood vessels in the retina become blocked, leaky or grow haphazardly. Treatment can prevent blindness in 90 per cent of those at risk if applied early and adequately.Zoe Harrison, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age and it is vital for people to be screened for eye disease at least once a year. Often there are no obvious symptoms, so it may not be picked up until it is well advanced and irreparable damage has been done."The National Service Framework for Diabetes has prioritised eye screening in the UK as one of only two critical national targets.
Research by Diabetes UK has shown that there are still many people with diabetes who aren’t having their eyes screened using a digital camera. If you think you are missing out you should speak to your diabetes team.