A once yearly retinal screening appointment (eye check) is carried out to identify early signs of diabetic retinopathy. If allowed to develop, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
The optometrist will take a photo of your retina.
To do this they will need to clearly see into as much of the back of your eye and instill eye drops which will expand your pupils. It may take up to 20 minutes for the pupils to get large enough.
The eye drops can sting a bit so just be ready. Try to keep your eyes open as best you can to avoid having to having to have additional attempts.
The fluid needs to cover the centre of your eye to make your pupils larger.
When your pupils are sufficiently expanded the optometrist will sit you down in front of a machine which will take a photograph of the retina in each of your eyes.
Your eyes must be fully open for a good photograph to be achieved. Be aware that it may take a few attempts to get the photograph just right.
As well as taking a retinal photo, you will also have your sight measured.
If you wear glasses, bring these with you to the appointment. It is also advisable to bring sunglasses with you to help on the way home. When your pupils expand, lights will become brighter.
Even crossing the road or driving can be quite difficult with dilated (expanded) pupils so it’s well worth taking sunglasses with you. It is not advisable to drive until your pupils have returned to their normal size.