If diabetics allow chronic high glucose levels to damage small blood vessels in their retinas, they can develop “diabetic retinopathy.” While the condition generally causes no symptoms in its early stage, it can eventually lead to blurry vision, floaters, flashes of light in the peripheral area of vision, and even sudden blindness in one eye. To prevent these unwanted outcomes, those with diabetes are strongly urged to control their blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure and get regular eye exams. It is also important that the eye doctor monitor the development of “diabetic macular edema,” swelling of the macula due to fluid leakage and accumulation, and “proliferative diabetic retinopathy,” the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina.
P.S. Diabetic macular edema (DME) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) can be managed with intraocular injections of medication, laser surgery, and direct surgery of the retina.