Buchanan Optometrists

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Diabetic? This new test could save your sight

By 2025 5 million people in the UK will have been diagnosed with a sight threatening condition, diabetes. With half of all sufferers unaware that they have diabetes, the resulting loss of vision caused by the disease is a serious concern. That’s why we have invested in a brand new piece of technology that can help to diagnose those with sight threatening diabetes sooner than ever, leading to earlier treatment and therefore less sight threatening complications.

If you are diabetic you will be familiar with the annual retinal photographs recommended by the NHS. These are a good screening tool to pick up the damage that diabetes has caused to the eye, but we want to find these tiny vascular changes before they are obvious. Until now we have used an OCT scanner to look at the structure of the blood vessels in the eye but now the new SPECTRALIS® OCT angiography scan can look at how the blood perfuses through the tiny retinal blood vessels, therefore detecting any abnormalities much sooner, even predicting sight threatening changes before they occur. The only previous way to see these tiny vascular changes has been to perform a test called fluorescein angiography (performed in hospital for only the worst cases of diabetic retinopathy) which involves injecting a dye into the body and photographing the eye. This technique is very invasive and comes with side effects which can include anaphylactic shock and very rarely death.

Thankfully our new eye scanner SPECTRALIS® OCT angiography at Buchanan Optometrists means that now all diabetics can access the very best detection and monitoring techniques without the need for unpleasant side effects. With early detection and treatment, the chances of sight loss can be reduced for nine out of 10 patients. OCT angiography can detect diabetic changes far sooner than photography which means every patient can now have the opportunity for early treatment, hence preserving eye health and eye sight.

The new scanner SPECTRALIS® OCT angiography been hailed as a revolution in diabetic eye care, spotting the condition far earlier than before and allowing detection changes as small as 1/1000th millimetre of change, you feel no discomfort, and it takes just seconds.

40 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes and 20 per cent with type 2 diabetes will develop damage to their retinal blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy) during their lifetime so it is imperative that all diabetics are offered this potentially sight saving test.

Alisdair describes the unveiling of a new scanner SPECTRALIS® OCT angiography at Buchanan Optometrists as one of the highlights of his career.

‘We have one of only two of these machines in the country. This new technology is set to revolutionise care for all diabetic patients. As an Optometrists it is a joy to be able to detect changes early and prevent sight loss where just a year ago the same patients would have suffered damaged vision or unnecessary and invasive tests and treatments. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss amongst working age people in the UK. Using this technology we hope to help change that statistic’.

If you have diabetes, a family history or are concerned about your eyes book in for the new SPECTRALIS® OCT angiography today.