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VISN 2 Diseases and Conditions - Digital Retinal Screening
What You Can Do
Studies have shown that people who keep
their blood sugar under good control tend to
have fewer vision problems.
It is important that
you work with
your primary care
provider to keep
your blood sugar
in a healthy range.
Proper diet, exercise,
blood pressure and
prevents damage to
the blood vessels in
Smoking has also been shown to be a risk factor
for many eye conditions including diabetic
retinopathy. It is important to not smoke if you
Speak with your primary care provider if you
What Is Digital Retinal
Digital Retinal Screening uses advanced
technology to take a picture of your eye. The
purpose of this screening is to find problems
before they cause vision loss. Early treatment
leads to better vision.
Digital Retinal Screening uses high resolution
digital color photography to take a picture of
the inside of your eyes. The color photographs
are taken with a special retinal camera that
shows detailed images of your retinas. These
images can show abnormalities that may
threaten normal vision.
Anatomy of the Eye
The eye works like a camera. Light goes in
through the front, gets focused by the lens,
and is received by the retina. The retina is like
the film in the camera that sends the image to
The Screening Process
You might be given drops to dilate your
eyes for these photographs. The technician
or nurse will sit you in front of the retinal
camera with your chin and forehead resting
comfortably in a guide. You will experience
a flash similar to having your picture taken
with a flash camera. The entire process will
only take a few minutes.
The images are transmitted to an
ophthalmologist or optometrist for interpretation.
The ophthalmologist or optometrist
will inform your primary care provider of the
results. If any abnormalities are found, you
will be notified so you can have a complete,
dilated eye exam.
Many tiny blood vessels supply the retina
with nutrients. Diabetes often affects these
tiny blood vessels, causing them to leak,
bleed, or break. When they leak, extra fluid
can build up and cause the retina to swell.
When the blood vessels break or bleed,
blood can build up either in the retina or
in front of the retina. This can block your
vision and affect how you see. This is called
diabetic retinopathy. If needed, it can be
treated with lasers or medication.
Digital Retinal Screening for
Patients with Diabetes
Digital retinal imaging is a useful method of
screening for diabetic retinopathy.
It does not replace a complete eye exam.