There is no way to completely prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, vision loss in the large majority of cases can be prevented with early detection and treatment. You can help protect your sight by having your eyes checked at least once a year by an ophthalmologist, or with specialised diabetic retinal photography.
You can also help slow down the development of diabetic retinopathy by keeping your blood glucose levels in check. The HbA1c is a measure of blood sugar level over a three-month period and in most patients, it should ideally be less than 7%. Control of high blood pressure is also key in preventing the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Other medical conditions such as high cholesterol, kidney disease and heart disease should be treated and kept under control. In certain cases, medications for high cholesterol such as fenofibrate can help to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy worsening. Stop smoking and exercise regularly to reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.