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Diabetic Eye Screening Programme

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Your appointment What to expect


You will receive a letter regarding your screening appointment; this will inform you of the screening venue and appointment time.

On arrival, we will perform a vision test, please bring your distance glasses (glasses used for e.g. driving, television)

As diabetes can affect the eyes, we want to make sure that you have no obvious visual abnormalities (this will not replace your optician).

Our aim is to get you to read the smallest line that you can see clearly on the vision chart. Don’t worry if you cannot read the whole chart, this may be normal for your eyes, what we want to know is if there is any significant drop from your previous sight test.


We will then put some drops (Tropicamide 1%)  in your eyes to enlarge your pupils (These drops sting a little, a bit like getting soap in your eyes, but it passes quite quickly). The drops take about 15 minutes to enlarge your pupils so we can get a good photograph of the back of your eyes. The drops can last for around four hours so…. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT DRIVE FOR APPROXIMATELY 4 HOURS AFTER THIS APPOINTMENT AS YOUR EYES WILL BE TEMPORARILY OUT OF FOCUS.

After approximately 15 minutes, we will take photographs of the back of your eyes (the retina).

The screener will ask you to look at a small light in order to get a good photograph of the retina. We usually take two pictures of each eye. You will see a bright flash as the picture is taken – this is a bit of a surprise to the retina but will cause no damage to your eye and does not hurt.

Your images will be assessed for diabetic retinopathy back at our central office and you will receive your results within 2/3 weeks.

It is a good idea to bring sunglasses, as your eyes will be more sensitive to light.

Call 111 when its less than urgent