What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy does not usually cause any noticeable symptoms, so you may not even know you have it.
But screening can detect the condition before you notice any changes to your vision. If it is detected early enough, management of the condition can stop it getting worse. Otherwise, by the time symptoms become noticeable, it can be much more difficult to treat.
What help is available?
Photographs from your check will be assessed by a number of specialists, including someone who is trained in identifying and grading retinopathy. Within six weeks, both you and your GP should receive a letter with your results.
Drops may be used to examine your eyes in a diabetic appointment – these can temporarily affect your vision. Please check when making the appointment if you will be able to drive immediately after the appointment.
You may need to have a further assessment if:
- The photographs are not clear enough to give an accurate result
- You have retinopathy that could affect your sight and follow-up treatment is needed
- You have retinopathy that needs to be checked more than once a year
- Other eye conditions are detected, such as glaucoma or cataracts
If your results show no retinopathy or background retinopathy, you will be invited back for another screening appointment a year later.
If you have sight problems in between screening appointments, such as sudden vision loss or deterioration in your vision, seek immediate advice by contacting your optician or GP. Do not wait until your next screening appointment.