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New technology at Baton Rouge General could help detect retinopathy in diabetics sooner

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – About 1 in 5 people in all of Louisiana have diabetes.

And in some severe cases, this disease can sometimes lead to blindness.

“It’s amazing that just high blood sugar levels can lead to poor results,” said Dr. Jacob Wood, General Practitioner at Baton Rouge General.

Most people already know that some diabetics need to measure their blood sugar levels several times a day, usually by pricking their fingers.

But blindness can also be associated with the disease.

“Diabetes can lead to blindness. This is one of the most important things we are trying to prevent by treating diabetes, which is avoiding eye damage that leads to blindness, ”said Dr. Wood.

“Diabetes can lead to blindness. This is one of the most important things we are trying to prevent by treating diabetes, which is avoiding eye damage that leads to blindness, ”said Dr. Wood.

“Because the growth of blood vessels that takes place on the retina begins to block areas that need to be used for visual reception. As these vessels grow and damage the retina, eyesight decreases. And eventually you can go blind, ”said Dr. Wood.

Baton Rouge General has partnered with the Williamson Eye Center to try and detect retinopathy early. With relatively new technology that you can use during your regular doctor visits.

“To improve access to this screening, you should use this portable retinal scanner that actually takes the images of the retina that look exactly as they would in the ophthalmologist’s office,” said Dr. Wood.

“It’s a hand-held device that allows you to scan the retina at the back of the eye through an undiluted pupil and see any abnormal changes,” said Brett Williamson, medical assistant at the Williamson Eye Center.

Relatively new technology at Baton Rouge General could help detect retinopathy in diabetics ...
Relatively new technology at Baton Rouge General could help detect retinopathy earlier in diabetics(WAFB)

The captured images are then sent to the likes of Brett Williamson at the Williamson Eye Center, where they can instantly check for abnormalities in your retina.

“And so it is the picture itself that can show us a little swelling. Because fluid can develop in a space in the back of the eye where fluid shouldn’t be. And when it actually does, it can really affect a person’s eyesight. And again it’s a spectrum. Finding early, just through routine examination and referral, timely referral to eye care professionals, that’s huge for a patient, ”said Williamson.

"And so it is the picture itself that can show us a little swelling. Because liquid can ...
“And so it is the picture itself that can maybe show us a bit of swelling. Because fluid can develop in a space in the back of the eye where fluid shouldn’t be. And if that is actually the case, it really can.” affect a person’s eyesight. And again it’s a spectrum. So it’s tremendous for a patient to find it early just through routine checkups and referrals to refer to eye specialists on time, “said Williamson.(WAFB)

But here’s the big thing: doing this quick scan when you see your doctor in any Baton Rouge General location will allow them to screen and treat diseases of the retina sooner.

“One of the big problems we have with diabetics about the eye exams is that they actually track and perform those exams. Probably the biggest is just the time it takes to visit the doctor to have it checked out. The ability for them to take this exam here in the office removes one of those barriers they would need to take this exam. Especially when you think of rural areas, ”says Dr. Wood.

“That really saves a lot when it comes to the continued pathology just to really slow down that vision drop,” said WIliamson.

Doctors recommend that you don’t wait until you have symptoms of diabetes to get checked by your doctor annually.

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