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About the test

  • Please allow up to an hour for your appointment, although your appointment will usually take about 40 minutes.
  • A member of the team will greet you, check some details and ask you to agree to the screening process (by asking for ‘consent’).
  • You will have a vision test (similar to one provided by an optician), where we will ask you to read letters or numbers from a chart. You will also be asked questions about your eyesight and what is normal for you.
  • Once your vision test has been completed, a medicine (called tropicamide) will be administered as eye drops. This may cause a little discomfort, but it will not last for too long.
  • You will have to wait for 20 minutes to allow the drops to take effect. Your sight will become blurred and it may be difficult to focus on objects near you.
  • Someone will check your eyes to make sure the drops have taken effect and your pupils have widened so the back of your eyes can be seen.
  • You will then sit in front of a specialised camera which will take several photographs of the back of each eye. There may be a bright flash when the photos are taken.

After your appointment, your eyesight may be blurred for several hours, so it is not safe for you to drive or operate machinery until your sight returns to normal and your eyes are comfortable. You may find it helps to wear sunglasses.

The photographs of your eyes will be sent away to be examined, so you will not be able to have the results on the day of your appointment.

When will I get my results?

You will receive your results in the post within eight weeks of your appointment. Your GP and diabetes specialist (if you have one) will also receive a copy. If you have not received your results after this time, or you have any questions about the results, please contact us.

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