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Background: This talk will cover how as a technician in an ophthalmology practice, one can help screen the patients and
gather information to help reach the diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy. It will also cover the technician?s roles in treating and
documenting results of treatments. There are different stages of diabetic retinopathy (1) Non-proliferative that ranges from mild,
moderate and severe (2) Proliferative which is an advanced stage (3) Diabetic Macular Edema (which is not really a stage). This
dissertation will break down the differences between all of the stages also explaining the testing needed to be done to identify
which stage the patient is in at the time of treatment Optical Coherence Tomography, Fundus Photography and Fluorescein
Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease which diabetics can face as a complication of diabetes. Vision loss
or blindness can occur as a result of untreated retinopathy. Blood vessels inside the retina can become damaged, and need to be
treated immediately before the problem becomes progressively worse.
Patient Compliance: Patient compliance plays a very important part in the treatment of such a disease. This disease can become
progressively worse if untreated, that?s why it is important for diabetics to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year.
Knowing Symptoms of this Disease: Often times, there are no symptoms of early stages of diabetic retinopathy which is
why yearly exams are key. In later stages blurry vision, floating spots or even specks of blood can occur in your vision causing
decreased visual acuity.
Treatment: People with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy should simply control their levels of blood sugar, blood pressure
and cholesterol. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser surgery to help shrink abnormal blood vessels.
Diabetic Macular edema can be treated through injections into the globe to reduce fluid leakage and interfere with the growth
of new vessles.
Conclusion: Diabetic Retinopathy can be managed by not only medical personal but patient compliance is key.
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