Diabetic retinopathy is a condition occurring in persons with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye. It is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the body’s ability to use and store sugar, which can cause many health problems. Too much sugar in the blood can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes affects the circulatory system of the retina. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include:
- Seeing spots or floaters in your field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty seeing well at night
Better control of blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes also slows the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Routine diabetic eye examinations are recommended for all patients with diabetes.