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Orange City Area Health System offers the IRIS retinal exam for diabetic patients to screen for diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is damage that happens to the tiny blood vessels in the retina caused by chronically high blood sugar in a patient with diabetes. This disease process can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed), distorting a person’s vision. Early stages of diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms. The disease often progresses unnoticed until it affects the patient’s vision. The risk of diabetic retinopathy increases the longer a person has diabetes. Early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.

• Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States in people 20 to 65 years of age.

• The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that anyone with diabetes receive a retinal eye exam every year.

• Early detection can reduce the risk of severe vision loss by 90% and significantly reduce long-term healthcare costs.

• Unfortunately, fewer than 50% of patients with diabetes get a diabetic eye screening annually.

• An IRIS retina exam is painless, takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and is administered in a primary care physician’s office.

At Orange City Area Health System, this test is performed in the Lab. You can get your blood drawn and have your eyes screened at the same time, making the process very efficient for the patient. The scan is then sent to an ophthalmologist and a report is returned to the physician for review. If concerns have been identified, the patient will be referred for a more comprehensive exam by an area ophthalmologist.

What to expect at your retinal exam

1) You will sit down in front of a retinal imaging camera. This advanced camera captures digital images of the central retina. The procedure is a quick and simple process.

2) These high-quality images are automatically enhanced and transferred to en eye specialist using the latest secure online technology and could computing.

3) Each image is analyzed by a high skilled retina specialist that will provide a detailed results report of any findings to your physician or our diabetes care coordinator.

4) If there are any areas of concern or indications of eye disease, you will be referred to a reina specialist who can ensure you receive the highest quality continuing care.

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