Diabetic retinopathy affects the small blood vessels of the retina. It is associated with poor metabolic control in patients with Diabetes Mellitus.
If you have diabetes, it is very important to have a complete eye exam at least once a year, because often the change in vision is not noticed until the disease progresses, causing irreversible vision loss or even blindness.
Some symptoms in more advanced stages are:
Bleeding inside the eye
Red or black spots "floating" in the vision.
Treatment is aimed at slowing or stopping the progression of the condition and will depend on the type of diabetic retinopathy you have and its severity.
If you have mild to moderate non-proliferative retinopathy you most likely will not need treatment immediately, your ophthalmologist will be monitoring your eyes to determine when to start treatment.
In advanced stages or in case of macular edema you will most likely require treatment with injected medications, LASER or surgery.
The sooner you start monitoring your eyes with your ophthalmologist, the more likely you are to receive timely treatment and prevent complications.