“The most important thing in diabetes care is that no one can do it alone”

Queen’s University Belfast Professor Tunde Peto speaks to OT  about diabetic retinopathy screening

diabetes medical equipment
Pixabay/Steve Buissinne

A Queen’s University Belfast academic has emphasised the importance of a united approach in caring for patients with diabetic eye disease.

Clinical ophthalmology professor and Northern Ireland diabetic eye screening programme clinical lead, Tunde Peto, shared with OT that clinicians should conduct a thorough examination of the whole of the eye when screening for diabetic eye disease.

“If not comfortable doing this then ask for help,” she said.

“The most important thing in diabetes care is that no one can do it alone. It is important that we see it as a multi-disciplinary disease,” Professor Peto emphasised.

She encouraged practitioners to look at the cornea, the iris and lens even if they are not specialists in these areas.

A relatively small amount of corneal damage, a cataract or a non-dilating pupil can make a patient uncomfortable, Professor Peto observed.

“We need to make sure we listen to the patient and do a very thorough examination of the whole of the eye,” she said.

Professor Peto highlighted that one in nine patients have more severe disease in the periphery of their eye than appreciated, which means that examining and photographing this section of the eye is important.

While the expense of cameras that photograph the periphery may not be feasible as part of the normal screening process, this equipment is useful for patients undergoing digital surveillance or within the hospital eye service.

Watch the full interview with Professor Peto below.

OT speaks with Queen’s University Belfast Professor Tunde Peto about diabetic retinopathy screening