Bennett & Pearson Optometrists



Visique Bennett & Pearson Optometrists is contracted by the Hawkes Bay DHB to provide Diabetic Retinal Screening (DRS).  This service is fully funded by the DHB so is FREE to all diabetics in Hawkes Bay



What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina, which is the delicate layer of blood vessels and light sensitive cells positioned at the back of the eye. It occurs when diabetes damages these fine blood vessels, causing difficulty with vision. Diabetic retinopathy is a common cause of blindness, but it is preventable.

But My Vision Seems Fine. Do I Need Screening?

One of the problems with diabetic retinopathy is that in its early stages you may be completely unaware that anything is wrong. However left untreated, retinopathy will get worse. If picked up in the early stages, diabetic retinopathy can be managed. This is why early detection from attending your screening appointments is important.

I have pre-diabetes, do I need screening?

People with pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes are not eligible for DRS and do not require screening.

How do I make an appointment for diabetic Retinal Screening?

Your GP or diabetes specialist will refer you for screening when appropriate.  We will then contact you to arrange an appointment at a convenient time.  Clinic times vary according to demand, currently clinics are held on Wednesday mornings.  You may bring a support person with you.  If you would like to check when your next appointment is due, please contact us.

What Happens At My Appointment?

You will be greeted at the screening venue and your personal details will be checked.

Your vision will be measured on an eye chart.

To screen your eyes for diabetic retinopathy the optometrist will take photos of the back of your eye. To obtain good quality images it is likely that drops will be used to dilate your pupils. The optometrist will put the drops in your eyes and then you will need to wait about 15 minutes for your pupils to dilate. Retinal photographs will then be taken.

Please note: The screening is for diabetic retinopathy ONLY. It is not intended to screen for any other condition.

Please bring a driver with you to your appointment as the eye drops used can blur your vision.We also recommend you bring sunglasses as you may experience an increased sensitivity to glare which may last several hours.

If you wear spectacles to correct your distance vision, please bring these to your appointment with you.

NOTE: If you wear contact lenses, these will need to be removed before screening can take place.

The results of your retinal screening will be sent to your referring Doctor and a recall date will be noted for your next screening. Any abnormal or marginal results will be reviewed by an ophthalmologist.

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?

If diabetic retinopathy is found to be threatening your vision, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist for treatment.

In many cases an outpatient laser procedure is performed to seal the damaged blood vessels and to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels.

Early detection is extremely important so that this treatment can be performed at the optimum time to prevent and delay further damage. In more serious cases surgical treatment may be required.

What Can I Do To Help Save My Sight?

There are a number of ways you can help prevent diabetic retinopathy.

• Have regular diabetic health checks with your GP
• Maintain healthy blood glucose levels
• Avoid smoking
• Treatment of general health conditions such as high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels
• A healthy diet and regular exercise
• Regular eye examinations
• Report any changes in your vision
• Pregnancy can pose additional risks, more frequent eye examinations during this time may be recommended.


Normal Fundus    Diabetic Fundus
 Healthy Retina   Diabetic Retinopathy

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