Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels inside the retina at the back of the eye.

Regular eye exams will reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, so the best management to reduce your chance of losing sight with diabetic retinopathy is strict control of your blood sugar levels, as well as close management with an annual dilated eye exam.

It’s important to note that symptoms including blurry vision, eye strain and headaches only emerge in the later stages.

Strategies for preventing or monitoring diabetic retinopathy include effective diabetes management such as better control of blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. Good management will help delay the development of retinopathy and regular eye examinations, early diagnosis and treatment can usually prevent severe vision loss. It is important to have your eyes tested when diabetes is first diagnosed.

When it is required, laser and anti-VEGF treatment is used successfully to treat sight loss associated with severe diabetic retinopathy.

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