Diabetic Retinopathy


  • Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes mellitus
  • High glucose levels damage these vessels and restrict the flow of blood to the retina. The problems with the blood vessels can be as mild as tiny bulges in the vessel wall that occasionally leak blood without affecting vision
  • People with diabetes should have their vision checked at least once annually to rule out DR
  • There are retinal surgeries that can relieve symptoms, but controlling diabetes and managing early symptoms are the most effective ways to prevent DR


  • blurred vision
  • the impairment of color vision
  • floaters, or transparent and colorless spots and dark strings that float in the patient’s field of vision
  • patches or streaks that block the person’s vision
  • poor night vision
  • sudden and total loss of vision


  1. Vitreous hemorrhage:A newly formed blood vessel leaks into the vitreous gel that fills the eye, stopping light from reaching the retina. Symptoms include loss of vision and sensitivity to light, or floaters in milder cases. This complication can resolve itself if the retina remains undamaged.
  2. Detached retina:Scar tissue can pull the retina away from the back of the eye. This usually causes the appearance of floating spots in the individual’s field of vision, flashes of light, and severe vision loss. A detached retina presents a significant risk of total vision loss if left untreated.
  3. Glaucoma:The normal flow of fluid in the eye may become blocked as new blood vessels form. The blockage causes a buildup of ocular pressure, or pressure in the eye, increasing the risk of optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Risk factors


  • eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • regularly exercising
  • maintaining a healthy body weight
  • smoking cessation
  • strictly controlling alcohol intake
  • taking any antihypertensive measures according to their doctor’s instructions
  • attending regular screenings


  1. Arun, C. S., Al-Bermani, A., Stannard, K., & Taylor, R. (2009). Long-term impact of retinal screening on significant diabetes-related visual impairment in the working age population. Diabetic Medicine, 26(5), 488–492. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2009.02718.x
  2. Duh, E. J., Sun, J. K., & Stitt, A. W. (2017). Diabetic retinopathy: current understanding, mechanisms, and treatment strategies. JCI Insight, 2(14), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.93751
  3. Global Prevalence and Major Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy. (2012), 35. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc11-1909
  4. Yazid, W. A. M. and A. S. A.-N. and H. (2018). Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) on Retinal Image: A Pilot Study. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1019(1), 12021. Retrieved from http://stacks.iop.org/1742-6596/1019/i=1/a=012021

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