The risks of blindness is 25 times higher for someone with diabetes, making it the leading cause of blindness in Canada.

Early detection and prompt treatments can prevent diabetes-related visual impairment:

  • Through comprehensive eye examinations at regular intervals, optometrists can uncover retinopathy at its earliest stages. This would allow for timely referral to a physician for treatment of diabetes, and result in lower system costs.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is seen in 20% of cases of newly diagnosed diabetes, which suggests that a person has been experiencing the damaging effects of the disease for four to seven years prior to diagnosis. With early detection, timely treatment and appropriate follow up care, there is a 95% reduced risk of vision loss.
  • Biannual vision examination and treatment of diabetic patients is a cost savings measure compared to general practitioners delivering this service.