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Eye Library / Risk Evaluations / Diabetic Retinopathy Risk

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes mellitus, and is caused by changes in the blood vessels inside the retina at the back of the eye.

New abnormal blood vessels grow due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. When blood vessels are damaged, they leak fluid or blood and may grow weak, brush-like branches and scar tissue. As a result, images that the retina sends to the brain can appear blurry or distorted.

What are the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy?

• • You have type 1 diabetes
• You have type 2 diabetes
• You do not follow a strict diet
• You do not control your blood sugar levels

How to reduce the risk?

To reduce your risk or manage the disease, everyone with type 2 diabetes must be seen at least yearly by an ophthalmologist from the time of diabetes diagnosis.

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you should see an ophthalmologists yearly beginning five years after the time of diabetes diagnosis. Maintaining strict control of your blood sugar and following a strict diet are essential to preventing diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes.