You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include:
- Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
- Blurred vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Impaired color vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
- Vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
When to see a doctor
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you're pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy.
Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.
Mar. 20, 2015
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- Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2014. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(suppl):S14.
- Fraser CE, et al. Diabetic retinopathy: Classification and clinical features. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- Diabetic retinopathy. American Optometrics Association. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/diabetic-retinopathy?sso=y. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- Eye complications. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- Fraser CE, et al. Diabetic retinopathy: Prevention and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- Leitgeb RA, et al. Doppler optical coherence tomography. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2014;41:26.
- Retinopathy. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- 4 steps to manage diabetes for life. National Diabetes Education Program. http://ndep.nih.gov/publications/publicationdetail.aspx?pubid=4. Accessed Jan. 6, 2015.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed Jan. 12, 2015.
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