Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. This condition occurs due to high blood sugar levels damaging the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak fluid which in turn affects vision. This is known as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. As diabetic retinopathy advances, new blood vessels can begin to form in the retina, which can cause bleeding or other complications such as retinal detachment. This form of retinopathy is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer a person has diabetes.


This condition occurs when fluid accumulates in the part of the retina called the macula. DME is the leading cause of loss of vision for people who have diabetic retinopathy. This condition will affect about 50% of all people with diabetic retinopathy.


In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy may present no symptoms making it crucial to get your eyes checked regularly. Symptoms of the condition that may present include:

  • Spots or floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble distinguishing colors
  • Trouble with night vision


Depending on the stage of the condition and the amount of vision loss, treatment can be used to stabilize and possibly reverse the effects of the disease. Successful treatment typically utilizes a combination of measures and requires early diagnosis, demonstrating the importance of getting regular eye exams. 

Call Access Eye Institute today to schedule your appointment or if you have questions about diabetic retinopathy.