Jersey islanders with Diabetes encouraged to take up annual eye checks

Diabetes directly affects around 5% of Jersey residents. Credit: ITV News

People in Jersey who live with Diabetes are being encouraged to book retinal screening appointments.

The annual check-ups aim to detect potential damage to eyesight caused by impaired blood vessels in the body - particularly those which supply the retina.

Diabetes directly affects around 5% of Jersey residents.

Mr Anish Shah is the clinical lead for the Jersey Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme and says: "In Diabetes it's the very tiny blood vessels that can be affected all around the body, but as it especially applies to the eye, they're in the retina.

"That can lead to various problems either new vessels growing or swelling in the central part of your retina known as the macular. And that can lead to loss of sight.

"Until 2003, in the UK, Diabetes was the biggest cause of registrations of sight impairment in the working age population under 65. The national level screening programme has brought that right down so engagement is very important and we're getting that message out."

Jersey resident Juliette Hart has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for more than forty years and regular attends eye screenings at the hospital.

She says: "It's really important to come and have this test. They can see what is happening at the back of your eye so early damage can be picked up quite quickly.

"The screening is very simple. First of all you'll have an eye test just like you would have at the optician. Then you just sit at the machine. It's not invasive, it's not painful and it's a very quick process."

The island's Health and Community Services want to remind patients that early detection of any damage can help protect people's vision.

Islanders are encouraged to make a booking by contacting or call 01534 444590.