For Health Care Professionals

Welcome to the health care professionals’ page!

Indviduals who are blind or partially sighted have added challenges in managing their diabetes. As a health care professional, you play a critical role in assisting these individuals to successfully manage their condition, as well as helping to identify patients who are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or other diabetes-related eye conditions.

At CNIB, we recognize the need for support for both patients and health care professionals. On this page, you’ll find helpful tools and resources to support your role as a health care professional working with diabetics with vision loss.

CNIB can work with you and your patient to adapt their existing diabetes management tools if they begin to lose their vision. You can find more information at your local CNIB office, or by calling the CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.

Looking for more information?

Take advantage of In Focus, a CNIB webinar series developed exclusively for health care professionals – to assist you in learning more about diabetic retinopathy, alternative strategies and the resources available to your patients for diabetes self-management.

Find out more about In Focus and view the recordings and presentations >

Starting the conversation with your patients

It’s often assumed that only people who are completely blind can benefit from rehabilitation services like those provided by CNIB. As a result, people who are diagnosed with vision loss may wait too long before seeking support.

CNIB helps Canadians with all degrees of vision build the skills, confidence and opportunities to lead independent lives. In fact, nine out of 10 people CNIB serves have some degree of vision.

You can help ensure your patients get an early referral to CNIB, and the invaluable services that can help your patients adjust to vision loss sooner

Below is a list of eye health questions to ask your patients who have diabetes, which can help guide the conversation about their diabetes and vision health.

Are you having difficulty:

  • reading newspapers, magazines and other fine print, even when wearing your glasses or contact lenses?

  • seeing the faces of family and friends at a distance of four meters (12 feet)?

  • moving around? (Are you bumping into things more often?)

  • getting around the community independently?

  • locating curbs and stairways?

  • seeing cars on the road during the day or at night?

  • identifying money or paying bills?

  • driving at dusk, dawn or at night?

 If your patient is having difficulty with any of these tasks, they’ll need to visit an eye doctor immediately – but you should also advise them to come to CNIB for support right away. They can do so by calling the CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642 or visiting  

CNIB can also work with you to help your patients who are blind or partially sighted with diabetes adapt their existing tools if they begin to lose their vision. You can get more informaton at your local CNIB office, or by calling the CNIB Helpline.​​

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