Diabetic Eye Screening

Diabetic Eye Screening At McCracken Opticians

Due to recent changes in the provision of local Diabetic Eye Screening Services, from April 2018 we are no longer able to provide this service. However, you will find on your letter a range of alternative places that you can attend for your annual diabetic screening appointment, so it is very important to make sure you attend (see more detail below.)

However, it is still also very important that all diabetics undergo a thorough eye examination annually in addition to their diabetic screening. This is because only an eye examination will be able to pick up certain other eye conditions, along with important visual changes, which are often more common in diabetics.

We welcome all diabetics for their annual eye examination, during which we will have a very detailed look at your eyes, along with checking for any changes to your spectacle prescription. This is free under the NHS!

Diabetic screening is important as it helps to prevent sight loss. As someone with diabetes, your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. Screening can detect the condition early before you notice any changes to your vision. It is offered every year to anyone with diabetes aged 12 and over.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

This condition occurs when diabetes damages small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts rather like a film in a camera. It can cause the blood vessels in the retina to leak or become blocked. It is the most common cause of sight loss in people of working age and it is estimated that every year in England 4,200 people are at risk of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy.

Why is screening important?

Eye screening is a key part of your diabetes care. Diabetic Retinopathy progresses with time but may not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced and close to affecting a person’s sight. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight. However, any damage to the vision that has already occurred can’t be reversed in most cases, so annual screening is important in that it can detect these problems before they reach this stage.

Remember, diabetic eye screening is not covered as part of your normal eye examination with an optician. Screening does not look for other eye conditions and you should continue to visit your optician regularly for an eye examination as well.

You can help to reduce your risk if you:

  • Control your blood glucose as effectively as possible
  • See your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure is not raised
  • Attend your diabetic eye screening appointments
  • Get advice if you have a problem with your sight
  • Take your medication as prescribed