Every person with long-standing diabetes has a risk of losing his eyesight because of damage to the retina caused by diabetes. This retinal condition caused because of diabetes is known as Diabetic Retinopathy. This can begin as an asymptomatic occurrence, the blood vessels in the retina get damaged and leak fluid or blood. The longer a person has diabetes, the more is the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
The issue with diabetic retinopathy is that the early stage usually has no symptoms. This stage is called the nonproliferative stage. Gradual blurring of vision may occur if fluid leaks in the central part of the retina (the macula).
In late diabetic retinopathy, new abnormal blood vessels begin growing on the surface of the retina or the optic nerve. This stage is called the proliferative stage. These vessels have weak walls and leak blood out into the retina and vitreous. The vitreous gel is the jelly that fills most of the back part of the eye. Presence of blood in the path of light entering the eye blocks this light, resulting in impaired vision or vision loss.
Every diabetic patient irrespective of their vision or symptoms must get an annual dilated retinal checkup done. A dilated eye examination is the keyword here. This is where doctors put certain drops in your eyes. These drops dilate the pupil. Dilating the pupils is like opening the window of the eye. Once this window is open us doctors can look within and see your retina.