December 8, 2014 – Photo Pharmacy

December 4, 2014

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Anchor lead: People with diabetes may soon get eye screenings at their pharmacy, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you have diabetes, don’t be surprised if your pharmacist suggests a new method for screening your eyes for diabetes-related conditions.  A recent study has shown that simply taking a picture of the back of the eye and sending it to an expert to be read identifies lots of people who don’t know their vision is at risk.  Neil Bressler, an ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins, reviews the data.

Bressler: About half of the people who actually have damage to their eyes from diabetes are not even aware that the diabetes is affecting their eye. This often can be treated if it’s picked up at an early time, so this new study was critical in that it showed us that if you take an image of the back part of people’s eyes, who have diabetes who were visiting these pharmacies, you are able to detect actual damage in the retina, and one out of five people actually had these changes.   :30

Bressler says these early changes can often be treated using a laser and vision loss minimized or avoided.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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