How would you be affected if you lost your sight?

A simple screening examination for Diabetics can detect any changes in the eye before it is too late.

Diabetes Awareness Week commences on Monday 14th November 2016, and as part of this campaign, anyone living with diabetes in Ireland is being reminded to ensure they are registered for free retinal screening with Diabetic RetinaScreen - The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme.

The programme which is Government-funded, offers free, regular screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, to people with diabetes aged 12 and over.

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2016, which takes place on the first day of Diabetes Awareness Week, is ‘Eyes on Diabetes’, and during this campaign, Diabetic RetinaScreen is highlighting the availability of this important service to all diabetics in Ireland and aims to raise awareness of the effects of diabetic retinopathy for those whose condition develops undetected.

The objective of Diabetic RetinaScreen is to reduce the risk of sight loss from diabetic retinopathy. At present, it is estimated that there are approx. 200,000 people living with diabetes in Ireland and 10% of those are at risk of sight threatening retinopathy. 

To date, Diabetic RetinaScreen has invited over 160,000 people with diabetes to attend free screening (using specialised digital photography) at a local screening centre.

Information is available at If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and are aged 12 or over, find out if you are on the register at Freephone 1800 45 45 55. If you are on the register, you will be invited by letter to attend a free screening at a local screening centre.  

Programme Manager for Diabetic RetinaScreen, Ms Colette Murphy, urged people with diabetes aged 12 and over to connect with the programme: “Make time on Diabetes Awareness Week to check that you are registered with the Diabetic RetinaScreen Programme.  If you have yet to take part in the programme register today by contacting the Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or if you have received an invitation please avail of this important free, regular screening”.

All people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms and may not affect the sight until the condition is at an advanced stage. Regular eye screening, using specialised digital photography, can detect the condition at an early stage, before any noticeable symptoms or changes in sight. Any recommended follow-up investigation or treatment of diabetic retinopathy will be fully quality assured and provided free of charge as part of the programme.

Screening results will be provided within three weeks. A freephone information line (1800 45 45 55) is available Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

Diabetic RetinaScreen is part of the HSE’s National Screening Service.


14th November 2016