Diabetic Eye Screening

Diabetic eye screening is a test to check for diabetic retinopathy which can lead to sight loss if it’s not found early.  Screening can find problems before they affect your sight.

If you have diabetes and you’re aged 12 or over, you’ll get a letter asking you to have your eyes checked at least once a year.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of blindness in people of working age in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. Despite this, early detection can significantly reduce the rate of impairment or even prevent it.

Eye screening checks for diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication of diabetes that is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). This can lead to a loss of sight if not detected early and promptly treated.

What happens during the test?

  1. You’ll be asked to read some letters on a chart first.
  2. Drops are then put in your eyes. These may sting for a few seconds. The drops make your sight blurry after about 15 minutes.
  3. When the drops start working, you’ll be asked to look into a camera. The camera will not touch your eyes.
  4. Pictures are taken of the back of your eyes. There will be a bright flash when a picture is taken.

Your appointment will usually last about 30 minutes.

Patients cannot drive for six hours after their appointment due to having the dilating eye drops. This is because blurring of vision may occur for a short time and driving could be dangerous.

Our Service

The screening service is available for all diabetic patients within Doncaster, Bassetlaw and the Dearne Valley. Diabetic patients that are known to us are automatically referred to this service.

The service was set up in March 2003 at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, starting with just two specialist nurses and has since grown to a team of 16, boasting six specialist cameras available at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Montagu Hospital, Retford Hospital, the Vermuyden Centre and most recently Bassetlaw Hospital.

Contact the team:

01302 642596 or 642597
Dbt-r.ddesp@nhs.net

Guides and Documents

Your Guide to Diabetic Eye Screening 


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