Diabetic Retinal Screening
Diabetic eye screening is a key part of diabetes care and management.
People with diabetes are at risk of damage to the back of the eye caused by diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults.
What happens to the eyes with diabetes?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the small blood vessels which leak blood at the back of the eye affecting the part called the retina. If not monitored and treated it can lead to sight loss.
What does diabetic screening involve?
The full diabetic eye test will take anywhere between 30-45 minutes. A full eye examination will be carried out, followed by the retinopathy screening. Your optometrist will insert drops into your eye which will widen or dilate your pupils. This makes it easier for your Optometrist to see the different parts of the eye. The drops will take about 15 minutes to fully dilate your pupils. You can relax and have a warm drink whilst this happens.
Images of your eyes
Your optometrist will then call you back into the examination room to take photographs of the back of the eye using a specialised camera. These photographs will then be closely examined and the results will be reported back to you. Your results will then be sent to a central administration department where they will be checked again before you receive an official letter with your results.
If your eyes are healthy and your diabetes is well controlled, then you can expect the optometrist to review you annually. However, if your diabetes requires closer monitoring or your eyes are being affected, then closer monitoring by your optometrist or at the hospital eye department may be required. Your optometrist will advise you of this accordingly.
TIPS - efficient ways to keep diabetes under control
Know your Diabetes Type, learn more about it and take it seriously
Monitor and keep control of your blood glucose (HbA1c)
Monitor and keep control of your blood pressure and cholesterol
Keep in touch with your healthcare team e.g doctor, nurse, optometrist, dentist, chiropodist
Reduce alcohol intake