What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels inside the eye. Whilst a patient may initially experience minor irrigation or no symptoms, the condition can lead to complete loss of vision.

Diabetic retinopathy can develop in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. That is, the longer a patient has had diabetes, the more likely they are to develop the condition. Diabetes is one of Australia’s fastest growing chronic health conditions.  Despite this, many patients are still unaware of the damage that diabetes can do to eye health.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy

Initially, there may be few or no symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.  As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Changing eyesight
  • Blurry vision
  • Floaters (spots) in your vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Eyesight loss
What do I need to do if diagnosed with diabetes?

Regular eye examinations are essential.  We recommend that you have an annual eye examination.  Patients with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, the best management is control of your blood sugar levels together with regular review of your vision.  Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy may prevent severe vision loss.

Please make sure that when you book online through our website that you select Diabetic Eye Examination, and the consultation time will be extended to 45 minutes to you the time to discuss your vision care with your optometrist.