Diabetic retinopathy is a serious vision-impairing complication of diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. If not treated in time, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.
With time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy.
What makes it very dangerous is that early stages of diabetic retinopathy often do not have any visual symptoms. So, a person with diabetic retinopathy may not even know it until serious, irreversible vision loss has occurred. Therefore, an annual comprehensive eye checkup is highly recommended to everyone suffering from diabetes.
- The commonest cause of blindness under the age of 65 in the Western World
- 37% of Diabetics have Retinopathy at diagnosis
- 95% of Type 1 Diabetics have it 20 years after diagnosis
- 60% of Type 2 Diabetics have it 20 years after diagnosis
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Seeing spots or floaters
- Blurred vision
- Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty in seeing well at night
Dr. Maneesh Aggarwal [MBBS, MS, DNB, MNAMS], Senior Cataract Surgeon and Ophthalmologist