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Introduction – The Eyes and Diabetes

There are still many misunderstandings about eyes and the roles of the various healthcare professionals who look after them. These misunderstandings can mean that people sometimes worry unnecessarily. To some extent the blame lies with the professionals involved for using terms and language that people don’t understand and for nor spending enough time explaining conditions of the eyes in a simple and straightforward way.

Many people are quite nervous when they have their eyes examined and this does not just apply to people with diabetes. Our eyes provide sight which is probably the most important of our 5 senses and so it is understandable that we are all a little nervous that when we have our eyes examined – the underlying fear of ‘bad news’.

In this section we hope that we provide some clear explanations of the common conditions that can affect the eye, especially those that apply to people with diabetes. At the same time perhaps we can dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings that occur.

It must be strongly emphasised that it is important that everyone should have regular, full eye examinations but especially people with diabetes. Early detection and diagnosis of many eye conditions means that treatment can start early in order to preserve sight. In the UK everyone with diabetes is entitled to a free eye test.