Diabetes is caused when the body is no longer able to naturally produce insulin in response to increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia). There are 2 forms of diabetes:
- Type 1 – (insulin dependent) usually manifesting at an early age, damage to cells within the pancreas means regular insulin injections are needed regularly.
- Type 2 – (non-insulin dependent) usually manifests around the age of 50 and over. For most it can be controlled by good diet rather than requiring tablets or injections.
Anyone with diabetes should have an annual diabetic screening. During this assessment the pupils are dilated and photos taken of the optic nerve. These images are stored with your NHS records for annual comparison and to monitor any physical changes to the retina which may indicate a future retinal detachment.