Dr. David Maberley is the Site Head for Ophthalmology at Vancouver Acute Hospital and Regional Head of Ophthalmology for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. He is also professor and head of the University of British Columbia’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
Dr. Maberley is actively involved in clinical medicine, with a great deal of expertise in the medical and surgical management of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, structural macular diseases, retinal detachment, and high myopia.
Dr. David Maberley is the Medical Director of the UBC/VCHA Inner-City Eye Program and is heading the ophthalmology component of the British Columbia First Nations On-Reserve Diabetes Telemedicine project. Dr. David Maberley research interests include the epidemiology of ocular disease, clinical trials methodology, and care delivery in marginalized populations.
Diabetic Retinopathy Detection and Prevention
If you have diabetes, your risk of diabetic retinopathy increases based on how well you control your general health.
If you can manage your blood sugars well and keep them well controlled, and manage your A1C levels, if you can keep your blood pressure low and controlled, and if you can manage your serum cholesterol levels, then your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy will be significantly reduced. And that’s an important piece for all patients with diabetes to discuss with their family physicians.
Now assuming that you’re doing the best you can with your systemic control, then you still need to have your eyes examined. And that process would require going to see an ophthalmologist, having dilating drops put in your eyes so the retina can be examined properly.
You would then sit at a high-powered microscope, have your retinas examined, often with a headlamp microscope as well. And depending on what was seen, supplementary testing might be necessary.
Now many times this testing can be performed the same day. That would include such a test as a fluorescein angiogram, where dye is injected into your arm, and photos are taken of the eye. There is a laser photograph test that can be done to look at the thickness of the retina, if we’re worried about leakage of fluid into your central vision area.
And really those are the main tests that we would do to look at your eye in conjunction with the eye exam, to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. Your pupils will be dilated during the process, so bring a pair of sunglasses with you, or having someone drive you and pick you up to take you home is probably a good idea.
Once you’re seen by your ophthalmologist, if testing is required, depending on the facilities available to that individual, there may be an opportunity for performing your tests the same day, and even possibly treatment the same day so that your treatment, if you need it, can be initiated as quickly as possible for your diabetic retinopathy.
If you have questions or further queries about diabetes or diabetic retinopathy, please talk to your family physician or your local ophthalmologist.
Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist