Detect Diabetes


With Diabetes Week falling on the week of 14th-20th June 2021, we thought that it would be a good idea to highlight the importance of having your eyes tested regularly. During your home eye test, we carry out a comprehensive eye examination. We not only check the overall health of your eyes, we can also identify several severe health conditions such as diabetes. 

How can you tell if diabetes is affecting your eyes?

This is a common question asked to opticians. The main symptoms are blurred vision, floaters in your vision and the slow or rapid loss of vision. As these can be symptoms related to many eye conditions and other common conditions, it is advisable to have a sight test to identify any issues. 

Can an optician detect diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the medical term given to an eye condition brought on by diabetes. The screening for retinopathy is essential because it can cause blindness in people.

“The retina is the light-sensitive tissue located at the rear of the eye and diabetic retinopathy can create changes within the blood vessels that feed the retina. These blood vessels can swell up and leak fluids or abnormal blood vessels can grow on the surface of the retina, eventually causing vision loss.

Anyone with diabetes, whether that is type 1 or 2 is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Up to 45% of diagnosed diabetics experience some stage of the condition.”


At Opticall, your local opticians who do home visits, we carry out regular eye examinations. During your eye screening appointments, we may pick up on some suspicious changes in your vision and refer you to an ophthalmologist optometrist who can make a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy.

At the referral, you will have a screening appointment that will include one or more of the following tests to ensure an accurate diagnosis is given:

  • Ophthalmoscopy

This test allows the ophthalmologist to see the back of the eye and locate where the retina and the optic nerve is. An ophthalmoscope is a magnifying tool used to examine the eye to detect abnormalities caused by diabetes.

  • A slit-lamp exam

In this examination, a microscope and light source creates a 3D view of the inner and outer eye. This is sometimes used with an ophthalmoscope to complete the exam.

  • Optical coherence tomography

This process detects fluid in your retina and picks up signs of damage that could indicate diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or macular degeneration.  Dilating drops are put into the eyes just before the eye test, which widens the pupils so light beams can be focused on the back of the eye during this dilated eye exam.

These forms of diabetic eye screening are essential to detect symptoms of diabetes so that it can be diagnosed at an earlier stage, meaning the proper treatment and care can be put in place.

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The eye tests our home visit opticians carry out 

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Optician comparison – home visit opticians vs high street opticians 

More information about diabetes

There are two main types; Type 1, whereby the body cannot produce any insulin at all, and Type 2, which is when your insulin can’t work effectively, or you can’t make enough of it. Other types, such as gestational diabetes (developed during pregnancy) and rare forms of diabetes, can be diagnosed by more in-depth testing.

People with diabetes have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood. Over a long time, this can cause serious damage/complications to your heart, eyes, feet, and kidneys. This is why diagnosis in the earlier stages and the proper treatment is so important. 

What is a diabetes screening test?

“A screening test determines whether a person has diabetes, and how serious it is. Depending on where you are and what your circumstances are, the screening test will vary.

Tests include:

  • Random blood glucose tests – commonly used to test for type 1 diabetes

  • Urine glucose test

  • Fasting plasma glucose tests (FPG tests)

  • HbA1c test

  • Oral glucose tolerance test


At Opticall, we are your local opticians who do home visits and can carry out eye tests at home for the elderly. If you would like to organise a home eye test, then please give us a call on 020 8998 4228