Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It’s caused by damage
the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
At first, diabetic retinopathy might cause no symptoms or
only mild vision problems. But it can lead to blindness.
The condition can develop in anyone who has type
or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood
is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.
You might not have symptoms in the early stages of
retinopathy. As the condition
progresses, you might develop:
- Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
- Blurred vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
- Dry eyes.
- Vision loss
Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy.
risk of developing the eye
condition can increase as a result of:
- Having diabetes for a long time
- Poor control of your blood sugar level
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Being Black, Hispanic or Native American
You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However,
regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early
intervention for vision problems can help prevent severe vision loss.
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to
prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam
dilation — even if your vision seems fine.