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Funded eye screening service for people with diabetes

If you have diabetes it is important that you have regular checks for your eyes. Diabetes can damage to the retina (diabetic retinopathy) and can lead to loss of vision if left untreated.

People with diabetes should be enrolled in their local retinal screening program by their GP, diabetes specialist or nurse. This program is funded by the District Health Board and is free for people with diabetes. The diabetes retinal screening service is available at Barry & Sargent Optometrists for Wellington residents.

The diabetes eye check (or retinal screening) examines the back of your eyes to screen for diabetes related changes, rather than testing your vision for glasses. The screening does not involve a full eye health check so it is also recommended to have regular eye examinations as well.

Retinal photo showing diabetes related damage within the eye (diabetic retinopathy).

As part of the screening, digital photographs of the retinas will be taken and eye drops may be used to temporarily enlarge the pupils to view the retina thoroughly. This can blur your vision for up to three hours so driving after your appointment is not recommended.

If the retinal eye check is normal, you should be screened every two years. If there is any diabetic eye disease present you will need to be screened more frequently or may be referred to an eye specialist for further assessment.

The clinical team at Barry & Sargent Optometrists are here to help you keep your eyes healthy. By managing your diabetes well and having regular eye checks, we can work together with your healthcare team to keep you seeing well.