Diabetes Eye Screening
Patients who have diabetes should have theirs eyes screened yearly to look for signs of retinopathy (damage from
diabetes). Damage to eyes can occur before patients notice a change. Severe damage to the eyes from diabetes can lead to blindness if it is not
caught early. Diabetes eye screening can be done by an ophthalmologist or optometrist during a dilated eye exam or can be done through non-
dilated retinal photography. We are pleased to offer non-dilated retinal photography in the Internal Medicine Clinic.
Patients can have photos taken before or after their doctor's appointment or they can schedule a separate visit to have photos
taken. It takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete the photos. After the photos are taken, the digital images are sent to
a UNC ophthalmologist (and retina expert) who interprets the photos. A letter with the results is mailed to the patient and
documented in the patient's UNC record. Some patients may need to go to the eye clinic if problems are seen in the photos. If patients have
problems with cataracts, glaucoma or need new glasses they will need to see an eye doctor to evaluate these issues.
The best way to avoid damage to the eyes from diabetes is to control blood sugars and blood pressure and to quit smoking.