You can have diabetic retinopathy and not be aware of it, since the early stages of diabetic retinopathy often don't have symptoms.
As the disease progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include:
- Spots, dots or cobweb-like dark strings floating in your vision (called floaters);
- Blurred vision;
- Vision that changes periodically from blurry to clear;
- Blank or dark areas in your field of vision;
- Poor night vision;
- Colors appear washed out or different;
- Vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly diabetic retinopathy screening with a dilated eye exam — even if your vision seems fine — because it's important to detect diabetic retinopathy in the early stages. If you become pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy, because pregnancy can sometimes worsen diabetic retinopathy.
Contact your Eye M.D. right away if you experience sudden vision changes or your vision becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.
Diabetes can cause vision in both eyes to change, even if you do not have retinopathy. Rapid changes in your blood sugar alter the shape of your eye's lens, and the image on the retina will become out of focus. After your blood sugar stabilizes, the image will be back in focus. You can reduce episodes of blurred vision by maintaining good control of your blood sugar.
Next Page: Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?