What is diabetic retinopathy?
This is a condition which affects some diabetics after a number of years, depending on how well their insulin levels are controlled.
In 'non-proliferative' retinopathy the blood vessels in the retina dilate, altering the blood flow in the retina. This condition usually causes no symptoms and is not sight-threatening, however it needs to be monitored carefully because it may signal future damage to the back of the eye.
In 'proliferative' retinopathy, which can develop from the non-proliferative stage, new blood vessels form in the eye. These vessels are extremely weak and also in the wrong place. As a result the vessels can break and leak blood. This causes both scar tissue to develop and the fluid in the eye becomes cloudy. Occasionally, retinal detachment can occur.
To learn more about diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment, visit our dedicated guides.