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Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that leads to blurry, distorted vision and blindness. It occurs when diabetes weakens blood vessels inside your eye. These weak vessels leak fluid into an area of the eye call the retina. New, distorted vessels may grow, then bleed. The vessels can damage areas of the retina, causing vision loss.
What causes Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetes is the cause of this disease. Over time, diabetes makes blood vessels weaken all over the body, including in the eyes. Other things can combine with diabetes to make retinopathy worse. These include pregnancy, high blood pressure and smoking.
What are the symptoms?
You can have diabetic retinopathy without knowing it. Usually, there is no pain and no outward sign. Over time, you may notice gradual blurring or some vision loss. Symptoms may come and go. If diabetic retinopathy is severe, you may have clouded vision or blindness.
What can you do?
You can have regular eye exams to help your doctor detect changes in you eyes before your vision is damaged. You can also take steps to prevent or control diabetic retinopathy: Control your diabetes, quit smoking, and control high blood pressure.
The StayWell Company