Retinal imaging cameras mitigate diabetes effects on eyes

Retinal imaging cameras mitigate diabetes effects on eyes
(DeLaune/MN) Joslin Vision Network cameras at three clinics throughout the Muscogee (Creek) Nation offer new services for patients dealing with diabetes.

New service offered for patients

Darren DeLaune/Reporter

GLENPOOL, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health is offering a new service for patients who are diabetic.

JVN imaging stands for Joslin Vision Network, which is a retinal scan to look for irregularities caused by diabetes.

“We provide this service at three of our clinics,” MCNDH Diabetes Program Manager Garrica Bateman said. “We take pictures of the eyes and look for diabetic retinopathy.”

Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease in which blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels can swell and leak, or they can close, stoping blood from passing through.

All of these changes can affect vision.

Bateman said the tribe has a partnership with Indian Health Service to have these cameras for the patients.

She also said there are standards of care for patients with diabetes. One of the standards for everyone with diabetes is to have an annual dilated eye exam or retinal imaging.

“Because diabetes affects your whole body, it is important that have these checkups annually,” Bateman said.

The JVN takes pictures of patients’ eyes. The images are then transmitted to an optometrist in Phoenix to read. Results are sent back to the clinic where the patient is being seen.

“Now that we do the images, we can catch the eye damage early before it can cause blindness,” Bateman said. “This is a preventative exam.”

The cameras that do these scans are at the Okmulgee, Koweta and Sapulpa clinics.

“Anyone who has diabetes and visits our clinics can get the imaging done,” Bateman said.

Please call any of these clinics for more information on the cameras, or schedule an appointment.

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