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Diabetic patients should have annual eye exam

Diabetic patients are urged to have a yearly eye exam to spot any symptoms of glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. However, it's estimated that only half of diabetics follow this recommendation. An evaluation of recent research shows that basic eye exams by non-specialists are accurate at identifying early cases of diabetic retinopathy. The study is detailed in the latest edition of Archives of Ophthalmology. Almost 30 percent of diabetic patients over the age of 40 may have diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of new cases of legal blindness in Americans between the ages of 20 and 74 years old. Researchers examined data from 20 studies which compared the accuracy of eye exams from remote clinics to those conducted in specialty clinics. The results showed that the remote clinics accurately spotted 83% of people with diabetic retinopathy. Twelve percent of the screenings were false? positives which was due in part to photographers with inadequate training. The remote screenings offer patients a fast, convenient and cheaper option for their yearly eye exams. In addition, new advances in technology will mean the remote screenings will be more accurate today than in years past.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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