Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.
- gradually worsening vision
- sudden vision loss
- shapes floating in your field of vision (floaters)
- blurred or patchy vision
- eye pain or redness
These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have diabetic retinopathy, but it’s important to get them checked out. Don’t wait until your next screening appointment.
Everyone with diabetes who is 10 years old or over is invited for eye screening once a year.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is only necessary if screening detects significant problems that mean your vision is at risk.
If the condition hasn’t reached this stage, the above advice on managing your diabetes is recommended.
The main treatments for more advanced diabetic retinopathy are:
- Laser treatment
- Injections of medication into your eyes
- An operation to remove blood or scar tissue from your eyes (vitrectomy)