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Diabetic retinopathy


Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include a decrease in visual acuity that is often severe, typically involving the appearance of dark spots in different areas of the visual field. It is the main cause of blindness in people under 65.


Diabetic retinopathy is a frequent complication of diabetes. Proliferation of blood vessels in the retina by angiogenesis, with the appearance of haemorrhages, can also be a cause. Alternatively, retinal oedema may occur due to the alteration of the permeability of its vessels. The oedema prevents the photoreceptors from functioning properly, and in the long term they are at risk of irreversible disappearance.


More than 50% of diabetics after fifteen years of untreated diabetes have diabetic retinopathy.


Treatments include a laser photocoagulation of the diseased areas of the retina, which are responsible for the proliferation of neoformed blood vessels. Surgical intervention is tricky, and it is only indicated in advanced stages. More prevention efforts should be put on diabetes, as its responsibility for this disease is clearly established. Half of all diabetics are unaware that they are ill.

On this page, we describe an eye disease that can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor. We therefore advise you to have your eyesight checked regularly by an ophthalmologist.