Diabetic eye screening (easy read)

Having your eyes checked is the only way to find out if diabetes is making your eyesight worse. This special eye test is called NHS diabetic eye screening. 

This is an easy read document

What happens at a diabetic eye screening appointment?

Someone using a computer

Having your eyes checked is the only way to find out if diabetes is making your eyesight worse.

This special eye test is called NHS Diabetic Eye Screening.

A calendar

It is important your eyes are checked every year to look for problems caused by diabetes.

Eye test

This is a special test about diabetes.

You will still need to see the optician for an eye test every year.

Reading a letter

You will be sent a letter telling you when and where your diabetic eye screening appointment is.

Two people

You should go to the appointment with someone you know.

45 minutes on a clock

The appointment usually takes about 45 minutes.

A wheelchair user

It is a good idea to find out if the place where the screening happens has wheelchair access.

Hearing

Make sure they know about any other needs you have too like eyesight or hearing problems.

A conversation

The eye screening team will talk to you about your eyesight and diabetes.

Glasses

Remember to take your glasses with you.

Health Action Plan

Remember to take any information you have about your health with you.

If you have a Health Action Plan take this with you.

A form

It is a good idea to fill in the form called ‘Telling the optometrist about me’.

Take this form with you.

At the appointment

An optician

The eye screening team will look at your eyes.

The person who checks your eyes may get close to you to use a bright light to look into your eyes.

A vision test

They will ask you to look at some charts.

There are letter charts and picture charts.

Eye drops

You will need to have eye drops.

The drops might make your eyes sting.

The stinging won’t last long.

20 minutes

You will have to wait 20 minutes for the eye drops to work.

Sunglasses

The eye drops might make things look very bright.

It’s a good idea to take sunglasses to wear.

Car steering wheel

The drops may take up to 6 hours to wear off.

You cannot drive until the eye drops have worn off.

Eye test

A machine will take a photo of the back of your eyes.

It doesn’t hurt.

The camera won’t touch your eye.

You will need to keep your head still.

Someone may need to help you to keep your head still.

Back of an eye

You will be able to see the picture of the back of your eye on a computer screen.

A computer

The eye screening team will look at the photos of your eyes.

Two people

If they cannot take a photo of the back of your eyes, ask about other ways of checking this.

A conversation

They will decide if you need any treatment.

A doctor

The eye screening team will send you and your GP information about your diabetes and your eyes.

Reading a letter

They will tell you and your GP if you need any treatment.

After your appointment

Hospital

If you need any treatment for your eyes:

You will be sent an appointment to see the eye doctor.

Your treatment will be done at your hospital eye clinic.

A laser

Treatments might include:

Using very bright lights called lasers to mend the back of your eyes.

A surgeon

An operation on the inside of your eye.

A meeting

It’s a good idea to visit the eye clinic before your treatment.

You can talk to a nurse about what the eye doctor needs to do.

A nurse

Some hospitals have Learning Disability Nurses to help you get the right care.

A handshake

Some hospitals also have people to talk to called Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO).

A conversation

Keep the information from your diabetic eye screening appointment safe.

Share the information with people who support you.

Pregnancy

If you think you are pregnant you will need to tell the eye doctor.

You will need to have diabetic eye tests more often for about one year.

A factsheet

We have a factsheet about Diabetes and Your Eyes.