How diabetic eye screening works

Diabetes can cause a condition known as diabetic retinopathy which affects small blood vessels in part of the eye known as the retina.  

During screening our eye specialists will look carefully at your eye to see if they can detect any changes which could indicate if this kind of damage is starting to occur. 

They will put some drops in your eyes and ask you to wait while they take effect. The examinations usually take about one hour.   

The specialist team will look to see if they can see any signs that the blood vessels in the central area of the retina (the macula) are affected. This is known as diabetic maculopathy. They may be able to spot the changes in your eye, even if you do not have any symptoms such as sight loss.  

However, by detecting it early you will be able to take steps to prevent the condition from getting any worse, potentially saving your eyesight. 

You can find out more about the tests in the frequently asked question for patients. 

There is also a frequently asked question page for GPs.


Page last updated March 2018