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Ophthalmology Department levels-up care for diabetic eye disease with new diagnostic test

The Ophthalmology Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is now offering a diagnostic test which will enhance detection for many diseases affecting the back of the eye, including diabetes, sickle cell disease and retinal vein occlusion just to mention a few. The test is called a Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA) and it was performed for the first time at the QEH on Tuesday February 20th, 2024.

Consultant Medical Retinal Specialist, Dr. Charles Pierce led the team conducting the procedure. He explains the FFA diagnostic test provides another level of diagnosis for patients, along with more information about any disease affecting the back of the eye. “It’s a fairly simple procedure”, according to Dr. Pierce. He says “we inject dye into the arm and then we take a series of photographs of the back of the eye, where you can see the details of the blood vessels, exactly how the blood is flowing and if we see any abnormal blood vessels we can start treatment at that point.”

Dr. Pierce says this is critically important for preserving the vision of patients with diabetic eye disease, as using this test allows for earlier detection, intervention and treatment. With the growing population of diabetics on island, the Retinal Ophthalmologist assures that the Lions Eye Care Centre can respond to the increasing demand for this service soon. Specifically for diabetics, Dr. Pierce advises patients to have the back of their eyes checked annually. He reveals there are normally no symptoms in most cases until the late stages of eye disease. That’s why regular check-ups are necessary to pick up any signs of disease before late-stage diagnosis.

The Lions Eye Care Centre now covers all of the various subspecialties in Ophthalmology. The achievement means our medical teams can diagnose from the very common to the very rare eye diseases and commence treatment based on this new level of diagnostic ability which is now available.

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