Diabetic Retinopathy Management Guidelines

Rahul Chakrabarti; C Alex Harper; Jill Elizabeth Keeffe


Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2012;7(5):417-439. 

In This Article

Five-year View

The prevalence of blindness caused by DR will escalate in developing nations over the next 5 years. Governments of low-resourced countries who have prioritized DR in their national blindness prevention plans will implement national DR screening programs of varying descriptions. Survey methodology such as the adopted Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness will provide estimates of DR prevalence and guide the distribution of resources to manage DR. However, given that DM has a younger age of onset in developing countries, higher quality epidemiologic studies will be required to capture an accurate representation of disease distribution. Successful DR management programs will need to integrate evidence-based planning in order to maximize efficiency of healthcare resources. The development of lower-cost retinal cameras and lasers will make it more accessible for patients to receive treatment. Educating and empowering primary eye care workers with basic skills has been demonstrated as a feasible intervention in low-resource environments and will ensure that timely diagnosis and highest quality of care is instituted to the greatest number and at all levels of society. The greatest challenge to the sustainability of DR management programs will be to ensure that patients are adequately followed-up and are compliant with treatment. This will require emphasis on public education by community leaders and healthcare workers in order to improve knowledge and awareness of DM and its consequences.