How One Woman Copes With Laser TreatmentsDoctors use such treatments to shrink abnormal blood vessels in the eye Read moreMore about diabetic retinopathy
- Why You Need a Dilated Eye Exam Every Year
- How Blood Sugar Damages the Eye in Diabetes
- 6 Factors That Increase Your Diabetic Retinopathy Risk
Diabetic retinopathy is a common cause of vision loss, so anyone who has diabetes should have a comprehensive, dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist shortly after being diagnosed and at least once a year after that, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). People with type 1 diabetes should have an exam within three to five years after onset of the disease.
The group recommends more frequent eye exams for people who have diabetic retinopathy that is progressing.
Early detection is crucial because laser treatment that begins when the patient still has severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathybefore the disease reaches the more advanced state of proliferative diabetic retinopathyis associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of severe vision loss and need for surgery.