Diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which bleeding inside the eye causes damage to the retina, is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults. Early treatment is key to keeping youfrom that dark path.
Nevertheless, fewer than half of all people with diabetes take the time to consult an ophthalmologist for an annual retina check. So Retasure has developed a machine thatallows a general practitioner to check the status of your retinas in only five minutes. The device is relatively new to the United States, but worldwide more than 600 installations are already atwork.
Called a fundus camera, the Retasure device takes a picture of the inner eye, showing the blood vessels, nerves, macula, retina, and optic nerve. That picture is then transmitted via a dedicatedcomputer from your GP's office to an ophthalmologist at an accredited reading center. The results are returned within 72 hours.
If the picture shows problems, then your GP refers you to a localophthalmologist. If everything is as it should be, however, you're safe for another year. The exam is covered by Medicare and most health plans, so it can cost as little as twenty dollars a pop.