Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina. When these weak vessels leak, swell or develop thin branches, vision loss occurs. In its advanced stages, the disease can cause blurred or cloudy vision, floaters and blind spots – and, eventually, blindness.
The most important preventative measure a diabetic patient can do to prevent visual loss is to have a yearly examination by an ophthalmologist. Studies have shown that the yearly exam prevents visual damage by catching retinopathy changes in time and treating with laser and intravitreal injection therapy. The diabetic that gets into trouble is the one who misses the yearly exam and presents years later with too much retinopathy to be corrected with laser.