Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina. When these weak vessels leak, swell or develop thin branches, vision loss occurs. In its advanced stages, the disease can cause blurred or cloudy vision, floaters and blind spots – and, eventually, blindness.
The most important preventative measure a diabetic patient can do to prevent
visual loss is to have a yearly examination by an ophthalmologist. Studies
have shown that the yearly exam prevents visual damage by catching
retinopathy changes in time and treating with laser. The diabetic that gets
into trouble is the one who misses the yearly exam and presents years later
with too much retinopathy to be corrected with laser.
Here is more information on diabetic retinoplasty in an audiovisual format.