Diabetic Retinopathy and Foot Examinations

Diabetic Foot Examination

High blood sugar does not just impact with damage to the sensation in your feet, but can also affect the blood circulation, leading to less blood getting to your feet. A lack of blood supply limits the healing qualities of the body and can cause pains or cramps in your legs or feet. This makes foot complications common in diabetics, with up to one in ten people affected by foot ulcers. If problems don’t get treated then they worsen, which can lead to foot ulcers, infections and even amputations. 

Foot examinations are really important for diabetics and it should be a daily check as foot problems can quickly become serious. If you do notice any changes or damage to your feet, make sure to notify a healthcare professional who can then assess and treat the problem. An annual review with a diabetic nurse should also take place for them to review your feet. If you haven’t had your annual review due to COVID restrictions, contact your GP to arrange an appointment. 

Diabetic Eye Examination

Another complication of high blood sugar level is the damage caused to the retina (the back of the eye). If left undiagnosed and therefore untreated it can cause blindness, however, this usually takes several years to threaten sight. 

An annual eye check should be carried out to identify any early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Every 12-year-old and over should receive an examination once a year as part of the NHS’s retinal screening programme. If you haven’t had your annual review due to COVID restrictions, contact your GP to arrange an appointment.

In the examination, an optician will take a photo of your retina, in order to do so they may give you some eye drops to expand your pupils, these can sting a bit so just be ready and try to keep your eyes open as best you can. They will also measure your sight. You will receive the results of your screening by letter which may take a few weeks to arrive. If you do not receive this letter within one month, contact your GP.