A clear view of the future for diabetics

How Sir Walter Scott View could look to someone with diabetic retinopathy
How Sir Walter Scott View could look to someone with diabetic retinopathy

One of the Borders most iconic landmarks has been used to highlight the importance of eye check-ups for people with diabetes.

An image of the Sir Walter Scott View has been used to illustrate the effects of diabetic retinopathy as part of the How Do You See Scotland? campaign by Diabetes Scotland and RNIB Scotland.

Latest figures from the Scottish Diabetes Survey 2016, show that over 800 of the 6,545 people who are eligible for diabetic retinopathy screening in the region do not have any record for the previous 15 months.

Diabetic retinopathy happens when the eye’s tiny blood vessels start to either leak or become blocked. This can lead to either loss of central vision or, at worst, total blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy is a potential complication of diabetes and the leading cause of preventable sight loss in working age adults. Over 291,000 people in Scotland are living with diabetes, and this number is rising every year. Attending regular retinopathy screening is an essential part of diabetes care for people aged 12 or over, who are living with the condition and the How Do You See Scotland? campaign aims to raise awareness of the condition and the importance of attending regular screening.

Campbell Chalmers, director of RNIB Scotland, said: “Retinopathy is the single biggest cause of preventable sight loss among working-age people. That’s why it’s so important that everyone with diabetes attends the eye check-ups that will be part of their care.”

Jane-Claire Judson, national director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “It is concerning that over 800 people with diabetes across the Borders do not have a record of attending a retinopathy screening appointment in the last 15 months. Screening is vital to pick up early warning signs of damage to the eye so that people can get the treatment needed to prevent permanent damage.

For further information on the How Do You See Scotland? campaign visit www.diabetes.org.uk/SeeScotland