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Diabetic Retinopathy - Causes and Risk Factors

Can diabetic retinopathy cause vision loss?

Yes. Blood vessels damaged from diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss.

Fragile, abnormal blood vessels can develop and leak blood into the centre of the eye, blurring vision.

Diabetic retinopathy can also cause macular oedema. The macula is the central part of the retina that allows for fine details to be seen in the centre of vision. When fluid from blood vessels leaks into the macula, it can swell and result in blurred vision.

Who is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy?

All diabetics are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This is especially so if the diabetes is long-standing. After 20 years, most diabetics will develop this complication to some degree. Those who have poorly controlled diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy earlier and at more severe stages.

People with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye examination or screening at least once a year. If you have diabetic retinopathy, your ophthalmologist can recommend treatment to help prevent its progression.

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The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth