People with diabetes are entitled to free retinal screening annually. It is important for people with diabetes to have their eyes screened so that any problems can be identified early.

Tiny blood vessels in the eye can become damaged if blood glucose levels are uncontrolled or run too high. This bleeding is known as retinopathy and if left untreated can lead to blindness.

What happens at the appointment?

When you attend your eye screening appointment, the specialist will dilate your pupils using eye drops. The drops used may sting, temporarily blur your vision and make your eyes sensitive to bright light. This may make it difficult to drive or operate machinery for up to two hours after the appointment.

Once the pupils are dilated, the specialist is able to use a special camera to take a picture of the back of the eye to detect any changes. The photo's will be kept on record so that any changes can be noted and monitored over time.

To find out more about what happens at the appointment please click here to watch a video created by NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, which explains in detail why the test occurs and what happens at the examination.


An image of the back of the eye, like that of which will be shown to you during your retinal screening examination.

Block A Level One, Queen Mary's Hospital, Frognal Avenue, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LT Diabetes Queries: 020 8269 3419