Diabetic Eye Disease
Screening and Treatment

Diabetes is the most common cause of preventable blindness in those aged between 18-65 years in the United Kingdom. Visual loss is preventable in the majority of cases.

Diabetic eye disease may be at an advanced stage before the patient notices any change in vision. Regular ophthalmic examination is recommended in all patients with diabetes to promote early detection of eye disease. Annual check-ups are appropriate for the majority of patients, but some patients may require more frequent visits. Treatment at an early stage of eye disease prevents loss of vision which can occur if the disease progresses undetected.

Below is some further information about diabetic eye screening and treatment. If you would like to talk with us about our treatments or have any questions, please call us on 01483 576 576 or email info@surreyeyesurgeons.com. We are based in Guildford, Surrey and have a team of highly qualified eye surgeons.

How does Diabetes affect the Eye

Diabetes mainly affects the retina of the eye. The retina is the sensitive nerve layer inside the eye which converts light into visual images, which are then transmitted to the brain. Diabetes can afect the retina in two ways:

  • Diabetic Maculopathy
    Diabetes affects the tiny blood vessels in the retina causing leakage of fluid and haemorrhages (bleeding) in the delicate nerves. If not detected, this can lead to permanent loss of sight.
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
    If diabetic retinopathy progresses undetected and untreated, new blood vessels may grow in the eye. This is a very serious complication which can severely damage vision in up to 40% of cases within 2 years.

Diabetic Screening

Both diabetic maculopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy can be detected using digital fundus imaging. At Surrey Eye Surgeons, these images are reviewed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist and early treatment can be instigated if required. Sometimes it will be necessary to dilate the pupils with drops and so patients are advised not to drive to the appointment.


  • Focal or Grid Laser
    This is the type of laser treatment to treat diabetic maculopathy. It can be done as an outpatient and takes about 20 minutes to perform. It is painless. The effects of treatment are reviewed at 3 months to see if any further treatment is required.
  • Panretinal photocoagulation
    This laser is applied to the peripheral retina and takes about 30 minutes to perform. This treatment can also be done as an outpatient. Sometimes more than one visit for treatment may be required. The patient can return home after the treatment and return to work the next day.

phone surrey eye surgeonsBook a consultation
Call the Surrey Eye Surgeons Team now, on 01483 576 576.

professional eye treatment

Mike Tappin: 01483 550 939 & 01932 379 120
Joseph Keenan: 01483 575 760
Chris McLean: 01483 457 169

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