2 years may be recommended, whereas in the case of serious findings requiring active treatment, follow-up in 3 months or fewer may be required.
Although it has clearly been shown that the rate of progression of diabetic retinopathy is related to the control of the blood sugar, there are several other fac- tors involved. There is a hereditary tendency, so that if a close relative with diabetes developed retinopathy, you are more likely to do so. You should inform your eye doctor, who will be especially vigilant. Control of blood pressure has been shown to delay worsening of retinopathy and control of cholesterol abnormalities also plays a role in preventing progression. Quitting smoking can slow the progression of diabetic retinopa- thy. Therefore, all of these factors must be carefully addressed to prevent retinopathy successfully. Finally, it is important to note that retinopathy is not the only form of eye damage that can occur in diabetes. Other disorders, including glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye) and cataracts (opacity of the lens of the eye), are more common in diabetes. Therefore, a comprehensive specialist eye exam is periodically needed and retinal photographs alone are not adequate.