What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye problem caused by diabetes mellitus. It affects the retina, which is light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. This damage can lead to problems with your vision, including blindness. However, you may be able to prevent severe vision problems if:
- You keep your diabetes and blood pressure under control.
- You have regular eye exams.
- You get early treatment for retinopathy.
How does it occur?
High blood sugar levels damage small blood vessels. The weakened blood vessels may break and leak fluid and blood. Also, new abnormal blood vessels may grow. These new blood vessels can bleed, cause cloudy vision, and destroy the retina. The longer you have had diabetes, the more likely you are to have retinopathy.