Diabetic retinopathy occurs in people with diabetes when there is damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.
In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. It usually affects both eyes.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
Seeing spots or floaters in your field of vision
Having a dark or empty spot in the centre of your vision
Difficulty seeing well at night
People who maintain a healthy lifestyle and control blood glucose levels are less likely to develop diabetes-related retinopathy. However, it is very important that people with diabetes see their Visique optometrist regularly for an assessment of their eye health. With annual screening, any threats to sight that do develop can be detected and treated promptly minimising the risk of permanent loss of vision.