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Diabetic Retinopathy

 

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes which affects small blood vessels damaging a part of the eye called the retina. It can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak or become blocked which can affect your sight. Untreated diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to your sight.

All type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients aged 12 or over are eligible for diabetic eye screening. GPs in Cheshire inform the Cheshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme of all their diabetic patients. We will send you an invitation letter when you are due for a screening appointment.

It is important to attend diabetic eye screening as diabetic retinopathy does not tend to cause any symptoms in the early stages. Screening can detect problems in your eyes before they start to affect your vision and if problems are caught early, treatment can help to prevent or reduce vision loss. Please note diabetic eye screening is different from your normal eye examination with an Optician. It is very important that you attend both a diabetic eye screening appointment and a normal eye examination.

You can help reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by:

  • controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • taking medication as prescribed
  • attending diabetic eye screening appointments
  • getting medical advice quickly if you notice any changes to your vision
  • maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly and not smoking

If you need more information, you can contact your GP or Diabetic Nurse or the Cheshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. Or please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Alternatively, more information can be found at the following websites:

Diabetes UK website https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

UK National Screening Programme for Diabetic Retinopathy https://www.gov.uk/guidance/diabetic-eye-screening-programme-overview

NHS UK https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetic-retinopathy/