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Retinal photographyDiabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. Retinopathy is caused by high blood sugars damaging the blood vessels on the retina - a layer at the back of the eyeball that contains cells sensitive to light.

Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss among people of working age. Most sight loss due to diabetes can be prevented if treatment is performed at the right time. Diabetic retinopathy doesn't usually cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages and screening is a way of detecting the condition early before any changes to vision are noticed.

What happens at your screening appointment.

  • The screening appointment takes approximately 30 minutes and is free of charge.
  • A qualified retinal screener will take a short medical history and measure distance vision.
  • Special eye drops will be used to dilate pupils. The drops may sting a little and will blur vision for up to 6 hours. Do not drive with these drops in.
  • The screener will take photographs of the retina using a special retinal camera.

What happens after screening?

  • Photographs will be assessed by a specialist at the Royal Liverpool Hospital
  • Results will be sent to the patient and their GP
  • Many people who attend for screening have no diabetic eye disease and will be recalled.
  • If there are changes, an appointment will be made for the patient to see an ophthalmologist
  • Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can include laser treatment, injections, or surgery.
  • An appointment at the hospital might be made if pictures are not clear enough or if there is a technical failure.

Appointments are available at

  • Breeze Hill Neighbourhood Health Centre
  • Everton Road Health Centre
  • The Fiveways Centre
  • Picton Neighbourhood and Children’s Health Centre
  • South Liverpool Treatment Centre
  • Yewtree Health Centre
  • Royal Liverpool University Hospital (for special requirements)

Click the map below to enlarge.

For more information about our service call 0151 706 5784

Or further information about diabetic eye screening can be found at:

NHS diabetic eye screening

Diabetic eye screening progamme guidance

Diabetes UK


To read the history of the Liverpool Diabetic Eye Screening service click here

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