Diabetic Retinopathy - Topic Overview
exam by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) is the only way to
detect diabetic retinopathy. Having a dilated eye exam regularly can help find
retinopathy before it changes your vision. On your own,
you may not notice symptoms until the disease becomes severe.
lower your chance of damaging small blood vessels in the eye by keeping your
blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels within a target range. If you
smoke, quit. All of this reduces the risk of damage to the retina. It can also
help slow down how quickly your retinopathy gets worse and can prevent future
If you have a dilated eye exam regularly, you and
your doctor can find diabetic retinopathy before it has a chance to get worse.
For most people, this will mean an eye exam every year. Finding retinopathy early gives you a better chance of avoiding vision loss and
Surgery, laser treatment, or
medicine may help slow the vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy. You may
need to be treated more than once as the disease gets worse.