New guidelines published by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that young people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should have annual retinal screening from the age of 12.
The guidelines recognise that detecting retinal changes as early as possible and supporting young people to maintain good control of blood sugar is the best way to reduce the risk of sight loss for this group.
The Royal College of Ophthalmology welcomes the guidelines and is pleased that they recognise the importance of screening for and early diagnosis of background retinopathy.
A study of the incidence and patterns of presentation of diabetic eye disease in children under 18 is currently being undertaken by Ms Maria Ibanez Bruron and Professor Jugnoo Rahi at University College London Institute of Child Health. The study is monitoring cases from February 2015 until July 2016.
For further details of this study please email [email protected]
The NICE guidelines recommend strict targets for blood glucose control to reduce the long-term risks associated with diabetes such as sight loss. As this is often challenging, the guidelines recognise that young people with diabetes are at greater risk of emotional and behavioural difficulties and recommend that psychosocial support is offered.
You can read the Diabetes in children and young people guidelines on the NICE website.