Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

diabetic retinopathy symptoms

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 7 crore diabetic patients in India and the number is likely to go up to 10.5 crores by 2035. Nearly 20 percent of the diabetic in India also suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy or they have Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition caused by the damage to the blood vessel in the retina. Too much of blood sugar can cause the retinal blood vessel to leak blood and fluids, leading to swelling in the retinal tissues and blurred vision. This can subsequently progress to blindness. This condition usually affects both the eyes. These all are earlier Diabetic retinopathy symptoms.

In Developing countries like India, Diabetic Retinopathy could become the leading cause of blindness in the next couple of decades.

According to WHO, there are approximately 9.3 crores of people suffering from diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy affects nearly 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 20 years or more.

In the initial stages, diabetic retinopathy will not present any signs or symptoms.

Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people aged 20 to 64 years.

Types of Diabetic Retinopathy

There are mainly two types of Diabetic Retinopathy.

  1. Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NDPR)

In the early stage, the blood vessels in the retina are weakened. Small bulges called microaneurysms protruded from the vessel walls, causing a leakage of blood and fluid into the retina. Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms will be mild or absent in this stage.

  1. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

This is the advanced stage; the retina does not receive adequate oxygen because of circulation problems. This will lead to the growth of new, fragile blood vessels in the retina and the vitreous humor, the transparent jelly-like tissue filling the eyeball behind the lens, causing loss of vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

Like any other diseases Diabetic Retinopathy has also many symptoms but in the early stage, there are very rare symptoms. But after the long period of time, these symptoms may occur.

  1. Loss of vision
  2. Spots or dark strings floating in your vision
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Sudden loss in vision in one eye
  5. Fluctuating vision
  6. Impaired color vision
  7. Dark spots or flashing lights
  8. Seeing rings around lights

Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy

The longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing retinopathy. Other conditions that could increase the chance of developing retinopathy

Contact to Your Consultant Doctor If You Are Diabetic And

  • Cannot see well in dim light
  • Have blind spots
  • Experience double vision
  • Experience hazy or blurry vision
  • See Shadows
  • Experience pain in the eyes
  • Suffer from repeated Headaches
  • See spots floating in your eyes

Diagnosis and Treatment

The consultant will start with the physical examination of your eyes, including making you read an eye chart. Apart from this, there is also another test which is helpful to find out the condition of Diabetic Retinopathy.

  1. Tonometry – Tonometry is used to measure the fluid pressure inside the eyes.
  2. Slit Lamp Exam – It helps to check the structure of your inside eyes.
  3. Fluorescein angiography – It is useful to check and photography of your retinas.
  4. Optical Coherence Tomography – It is useful to check the thickness of the retina.

If you are at the early stage of Diabetic Retinopathy on the basis of the test was done or on the basis of diabetic retinopathy symptoms, you may not need treatment but will require regular eye checkup.

If you are in the early stage then control your diabetes with natural remedies or with medicine and avoid the foods which are not good for diabetic people.

When the diseases progressed to the advanced level then eye surgery is one of the treatment options.

Laser treatment is used to create small burns in the retina where there is an abnormal blood vessel. This process, called photocoagulation, will prevent leaking of the blood vessels and also help shrink abnormal vessels.

Vitrectomy is another surgical procedure, which is used to treat bleeding into the eyes and to repair retinal detachment.

Tips for the Diabetic Retinopathy Patients

These are the valuable tips for Diabetic Retinopathy patients to control or get rid off Diabetic Retinopathy symptomsDiabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

Source of Image-NEHEP

  • Regularly monitor your blood sugar level and keep it under control.
  • Take your medicine on time.
  • Pay attention to vision changes
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Shed excess weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid or limit alcohol

I hope this article will help you to get an understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms, cause, diagnosis, and treatment.

Related Article – Diabetes Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment





  1. Someone I work with is diabetic and she was only talking about this the other day! She goes for eye checks every couple of months. I had clue before it was mentioned at work. Thanks for sharing such vital info.


  2. I have always thought Diabetes is scary. It lowers you daily life quality significantly and there isn’t much you can do about it. This post shows me even more possible issue. I just hope I will never have it (I have a history of it in my family)

  3. Thanks for sharing such an information about diabetes. It is important that all of us should be aware what the symptoms are because this is such a terrible disease that could lead to death.

  4. Wow- with the rise in diabetes, this is such an important topic. I didn’t know that Diabetic Retinopathy even existed- thank you for bringing light to this difficult disease.

  5. I had no idea that diabetes could effect your eyes like this. Truly scary stuff. As in anything it seems early detection is key. Thanks for the great article!

  6. I can imagine the challenges relating to eating healthy and managing sugar levels if you are diabetic. I hadn’t thought about additional implications.

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