Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy: Introduction
People with diabetic retinopathy can experience a variety of symptoms. Diabetic retinopathy generally develops slowly over a period of months as ongoing high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels of the retina. In early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there may be no noticeable symptoms. However, changes in the retina and the blood vessels of the retina may be seen during an eye examination. Because symptoms may not be apparent until late stages of diabetic retinopathy, regular eye examinations are vital to catching the condition in its early stage.
Ongoing high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels of the retina and leads to leaking or bleeding of the blood vessels or the growth of abnormal blood vessels. These processes can prevent light from reaching the retina. This leads to the typical symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, such as changes in vision, including blurred vision. There also may be eye pain. Other symptoms include seeing spots and a sudden loss of vision. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can also come and go.
In more advanced stages of diabetic neuropathy, serious complications can result, including permanent vision loss, retinal detachment and blindness.
There are other complications of diabetes that can commonly accompany diabetic retinopathy. These include diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease....more about Diabetic Retinopathy »
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources
for Diabetic Retinopathy includes the 6
symptoms listed below:
Research symptoms & diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Diabetic Retinopathy: Symptom Checkers
Review the available symptom checkers for these symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Diabetic Retinopathy: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires
Review the available Assessment Questionnaires for the symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Diabetic Retinopathy: Complications
Review medical complications possibly associated with Diabetic Retinopathy:
Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Diabetic Retinopathy:
- Ordinary doctor eye exam - not fully adequate; may not detect non-advanced cases.
- Dilated eye exam - best performed by eye specialist
- Eye test (vision test) - not useful; only detects very advanced cases of retinopathy.
- Dye test (fluorescein angiogram) - This is a special eye that that shows retinal circulation.
- Amsler grid - A special test that helps you identify what parts of your visual field are damaged.
- Slit lamp examination - Often done as part of a dilated eye exam. This test examines front or back of eye.
- more tests...»
Research More About Diabetic Retinopathy
Do I have Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy: Medical Mistakes
Diabetic Retinopathy: Undiagnosed Conditions
Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:
Home Diagnostic Testing
Home medical tests related to Diabetic Retinopathy:
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- Vision & Eye Health: Home Testing:
- more home tests...»
Wrongly Diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy?
The list of other diseases or medical conditions
that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses
for Diabetic Retinopathy includes:
See the full list of 10
Diabetic Retinopathy: Research Doctors & Specialists
- Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists:
- Cholesterol Specialists:
- Cardiac (Heart) Specialists:
- Eye Health Specialists (Ophthalmology):
- Senior Health Specialists (Geriatrics):
- more specialists...»
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More about symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
More information about symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy and related conditions:
Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms
Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list
of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions,
or drug side effect causes of that symptom.
Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Keep your eyes healthy: NIDDK (Excerpt)
You may not get any signs of diabetes retina damage or you may get one
or more signs:
- Blurry or double vision
- Rings, flashing lights, or blank spots
- Dark or floating spots
- Pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes
- Trouble seeing things out of the corners of your eyes.
(Source: excerpt from Keep your eyes healthy: NIDDK
Are You at Risk for Diabetic Eye Disease: NEI (Excerpt)
Often there are none in the early stages of the disease. Vision
may not change until the disease becomes severe. Nor is there any
Blurred vision may occur when the macula--the part of the retina
that provides sharp, central vision--swells from the leaking fluid.
This condition is called macular edema. If new vessels have grown on
the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye, blocking
vision. But, even in more advanced cases, the disease may progress a
long way without symptoms. That is why regular eye examinations for
people with diabetes are so important. (Source: excerpt from Are You at Risk for Diabetic Eye Disease: NEI)
Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy: NEI (Excerpt)
often has no early warning signs. At some point, though, you may
have macular edema. It blurs vision, making it hard to do things
like read and drive. In some cases, your vision will get better or
worse during the day. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy: NEI)
Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy: NEI (Excerpt)
As new blood vessels form at the back of the eye, they can bleed
(hemorrhage) and blur vision. The first time this happens it may not
be very severe. In most cases, it will leave just a few specks of
blood, or spots, floating in your vision. They often go away after a
These spots are often followed within a few days or weeks by a
much greater leakage of blood. The blood will blur your vision. In
extreme cases, a person will only be able to tell light from dark in
that eye. It may take the blood anywhere from a few days to months
or even years to clear from the inside of your eye. In some cases,
the blood will not clear. You should be aware that large hemorrhages
tend to happen more than once, often during sleep. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy: NEI)
Diabetic Retinopathy as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions
When considering symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy, it is also important to consider Diabetic Retinopathy as a possible cause of other medical conditions.
The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Diabetic Retinopathy may cause:
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Diabetic Retinopathy as a symptom:
For a more detailed analysis of Diabetic Retinopathy as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Onset and Incubation
Onset of Diabetic Retinopathy: After 20 years of diabetes, nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes and >60% of patients with type 2 diabetes have some degree of retinopathy.
Medical articles and books on symptoms:
These general reference articles may be of interest
in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:
Full list of premium articles on symptoms and diagnosis
About signs and symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
The symptom information on this page
attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy.
This signs and symptoms information for Diabetic Retinopathy has been gathered from various sources,
may not be fully accurate,
and may not be the full list of Diabetic Retinopathy signs or Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms.
Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy may vary on an individual basis for each patient.
Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they
are indeed Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms.