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Diabetic Eye Screening and COVID-19

The Northern Ireland Diabetic Eye Screening Programme has restarted, but in order to help the programme be safe and still identify those most at risk of sight loss invitations will be prioritised based on your previous eye screening result.

There are two phases of prioritisation , based on who is most at risk of sight loss:

Phase one –

  • Pregnant women.
  • Those newly diagnosed.
  • Those who are under surveillance or had some retinopathy at their last appointment.
  • Those who did not attend their last screening invitation.

Phase two –

  • Those without diabetic retinopathy at their last screening appointment. It is safe to screen this group every 24 months.

What if I notice changes to my eyesight?

If sudden changes, total sight loss, severe pain or trauma to your eye(s) then you should contact your nearest hospital eye casualty as soon as possible.

If gradual changes or your are concerned, your optometrist can offer advice, treatments, or signposting to appropriate service.

The NI Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS) offers appointments and advice at no charge.

More information and a list of participating optometry practices can be found at

What should I do?

  • Manage blood glucose.
  • Manage blood pressure.
  • Manage cholesterol levels.

For further information visit –