Story by Yasmeen Abbas | Photo courtesy of NHS
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in working age people in the UK. Anyone aged 12 and over with a current or past diagnosis of diabetes is invited to attend diabetic eye screening as they are all at some risk of developing sight problems regardless of whether the diabetes is controlled by diet, tablets or insulin.
The aim of the screening test is to detect changes in the blood vessels supplying the retina (the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye) which can become blocked, leaky or grow abnormally and can cause problems with your vision if not treated. These changes are known as diabetic retinopathy.
- You are at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy if you:
- have had diabetes for a long time
- have poorly controlled diabetes
- have high blood pressure
- are pregnant
- are of Asian or Afro-Caribbean ethnic background
Good control of your diabetes reduces the risk of problems with your sight. Attending screening regularly is important as there are usually no symptoms until diabetic retinopathy has reached an advanced stage. Treatment, given at the right time, is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight.
The Sheffield Diabetic Eye Screening Service offers screening across Sheffield including in Burngreave and the Northern General Hospital.
What does the test involve?
- Takes around 45 minutes
- We ask you a few questions about your diabetes and eye health
- Your level of vision will be measured
- Eye drops are given that dilate your pupils (make them bigger)
- Photographs of the retina (back of the eye) are taken
- Results arrive in the post within 3 weeks
If you have received an invitation to attend diabetic eye screening, call us on 0114 226 5475 to book your appointment.