Looking after your eyes
People living with diabetes should have eye screening as part of their diabetes checks. This is because diabetes can lead to eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy.
•Everyone living with diabetes over the age of 12 will get an invite to a regular eye screening – Eye problems are very rare in children younger than 12 years old, so that’s why they don’t automatically get this check.
•At first, the screening should be every year, then this can change depending on your results.
|Your results||Your next steps|
|No retinopathy (R0)||Continue your regular eye screening|
|Background changes (R1)||You may be asked to return sooner|
|Non-proliferative retinopathy (R2)||More regular eye screenings|
|Proliferative retinopathy (R3)||You will be seen by an eye specialist quickly and taken through your treatment options|
•You will start by having a quick check of your eyes, which will be followed by the main part of the eye screening. This is when the back of your retina is photographed.
•You may get eye drops to enlarge your pupils. Your vision will be blurry after the drops, and you will find this makes it difficult to focus on objects close to you. This can last for up to six hours, so it’s a good idea to bring someone with you to take you home. You may also find that everything seems brighter than usual, so you may want to bring sunglasses for after the screening. You’ll have photos taken of each eye and both times there will be a flash of light. Your eye won’t be touched by the camera and you shouldn’t experience any pain.
•If you are invited to a screening appointment, it’s really important you go. And if you notice any changes to your eyesight, these should be checked as soon as possible – gradual changes can be checked by your optician, but if you notice any sudden changes, get urgent medical care.