Diabetic Retinopathy - Topic Overview
Most of the time, there
are no symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until it starts to change your vision.
When this happens, diabetic retinopathy is already severe. Having your eyes
checked regularly can find diabetic retinopathy early enough to treat
it and help prevent vision loss.
If you notice problems with your
vision, call an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) right away. Changes in
vision can be a sign of severe damage to your eye. These changes can include
floaters, pain in the eye, blurry vision, or new vision loss.
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.