Anyone who suffers diabetes should have a diabetic eye disease test. Indeed, the test can uncover the earliest signs of the disease, prompting better control of an individual’s diabetes to prevent vision loss.

Diabetic eye disease, or diabetic retinopathy, is associated with poorly controlled diabetes. In fact it affects almost everyone with Type 1 diabetes and 60% of those with Type 2 diabetes within 20 years of diagnosis.

Early diabetic eye disease usually has no symptoms. It involves small haemorrhages and fluid leaks from the retina at the back of the eye. Later stage disease involves the growth of new and abnormal blood vessels in the retina and other parts of the eye.

If left untreated diabetic eye disease can lead to blindness.

How to test for diabetic eye disease

Anyone suffering diabetes should have a diabetic eye disease  test with their optometrist every 6 to 12 months. All our patients have the following tests for diabetic eye disease:

Even the early signs of diabetic eye disease will be clearly visible with a retinal photo. So we use a powerful magnifying lens to take images of the retina. These images enable us to identify any small haemorrhages or deposits of cells from your blood vessels.

OCT photographs the layers under the surface of the retina. Using OCT allows us to pick up the clinical signs of diabetic eye disease before the visible signs appear. For more on how OCT works, see our OCT page.

Regular diabetic eye disease tests

If you have a diagnosis of diabetic eye disease, you will need to have your eye health carefully monitored. Usually this means taking a diabetic eye disease test every 6 to 12 months.

Also, you will need to consult with your GP and endocrinologist to find out why you have developed this eye disease. Indeed, it usually that diabetes could be under better control.

More serious cases of diabetic eye disease may also need treatment with an injection into the eye. In addition, laser can be used to treat diabetic eye disease.