Diabetic retinopathy is where the back lining of the eye (retina) is damaged from diabetes. The blood vessels in the back lining of the eye are affected by diabetes. In diabetics, the blood vessels close off, leak fluid, blood, and cholesterol into the back of the eye.
When diabetes is severe in the eye, new abnormal blood vessels grow and leak blood at times. Sometimes, a large amount of blood can fill the eye which is called a vitreous hemorrhage.
It is really important that diabetics have a yearly dilated exam by an ophthalmologist. The dilation of the pupil allows the MD to see if there is any leakage from the blood vessels in the back of the eye. The best way prevent diabetes in the eye is to keep you blood sugar in the normal range. The photo above shows what diabetic retinopathy might look like to your doctor.
© American Academy of Ophthalmology