What are diabetic retinopathy symptoms?

What are diabetic retinopathy symptoms? It’s very interesting to note that sometimes patients are unaware that they have diabetes and their eye surgeon notices the first sign of diabetes. Now regarding symptoms, for the most part, patients don’t realise that they have any eye problems until it’s late. This is why it is essential to have regular eye checks and attend the diabetic clinics regularly because it’s only through these means will we be able to identify the very early changes in diabetic retinopathy, some of which may require laser intervention or other forms of treatment.

When diabetic retinopathy symptoms progress

Once the disease has progressed for a long time, patients may then experience blurred vision and sometimes floaters or complete obscuration of the vision if there’s a very severe haemorrhage. It’s imperative to state that in the very early stages, the patient doesn’t experience any symptoms at all and the signs can only be detected by the ophthalmologist examining the patients.

Another important point I want to make is that for patients who are prediabetic, it’s worth their while to have ophthalmology assessments. Also, for patients who do not have diabetes but who have family members who have diabetes, it’s essential for them to check their diabetic status and possibly have a baseline ophthalmological assessment.


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About the author

Leonard Teye-Botchway
Consultant Ophthalmic Physician and Surgeon |MBChB, FRCS(G), MBA, FWACS, FGCS, DCEH (Lond), Postgraduate Diploma in Cataracts and Refractive Surgery

I am Leonard Teye-Botchway and I am the Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology in Bermuda. The joy and elation I get from seeing patients who are very happy they can see after surgery is almost unimaginable. This is what really drives me to carry on being an ophthalmologist.

We have sourced some or all of the content on this page from The American Academy of Ophthalmology, with permission.