Retinopathy Clinic - Eye Can See Clearly Now the Drops Have Gone

Today's blog was created whilst at the waiting room of the retinopathy clinic that I go to. Ironically it was completed later on in the day after the clinic, as my eye-sight swiftly deteriorated due to the effects of the eye drops that had just been administered.

Attending retinopathy clinic is a yearly or bi-annual part of having the condition diabetes. Alongside visiting the consultant and diabetes specialist nurses, this is the best way to check to see if having the diabetes has created any changes in your eyes. As it's imperative to detect eye conditions associated with diabetes, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy early so as to be able to treat it.

After the waiting room, the first port of call at the clinic is to see the nurse so she can do the good old fashioned ' can you read the letters in front of you' . Whilst covering each eye as you read. I was disappointed to note that at this appointment, I could no longer read the bottom line as I could at previous appointments. This is the first time this has happened in the 13 years I've had diabetes. My left eye was the weakest as I could only read the second line from the bottom. (There are about 6 lines).

The letter reading is then followed by the bad bit... 'the drops'. Another ironic moment ensues where the nurse asks you to keep your eyes open, as she puts a solution directly into your eyes. On a bad clinic a natural reaction takes over (blinking), and a few attempts are needed. Interestingly my previous experience felt like having salt water put into my eyes, until they streamed and I looked like a panda. This time however, the experience was not unpleasant, and back I was sent into the waiting room for the drops to take affect.

The aim of the drops is to dilate the pupil to allow the photographer that calls you in, to be able to see the backs of your eyes (retina). If you've ever experienced an over enthusiastic relative at a party, with a blinding flash on their camera then you'll of come close to the experience. However, imagine that the flash is about 2 inches from your open eye and that'll be more accurate. Then following the red and green lights that appear on a screen, the retinopathy photographer takes their pictures.

The results usually follow in the post about 6 weeks later. My previous 10 years of results have all said a similar thing 'changes due to diabetes in your eyes'. This result will be interesting with regard to the not so good alphabet tests and the fact I've experienced some blurry vision since my last appointment.

Keep watching the blog for the results...


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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