Diabetic retinopathy has no warning signs in the early stages; sight may not be affected until the condition is severe or in the moderate to late stages.
If DME develops, symptoms may include blurring of central vision when reading or driving, loss of the ability to see colour, and or distortion of images (straight lines appearing as abnormally curved or "wavy").
Small spots or floaters may be a symptom of bleeding in the eye from abnormal new vessels. In the most severe form, with PDR, there may be sudden severe vision loss from bleeding or retinal detachment.
Because the disease initially shows no symptoms, and can be treated in the earlier stages, it is important for all patients with diabetes to have an eye examination at least once a year, and to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these visual symptoms. Late diagnosis and treatment can result in irreversible vision loss.