Diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of adult blindness in the United States, is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, the disease may show no symptoms or only mild vision problems but eventually can result in blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy can happen to anyone who has Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. In fact, up to 45 percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the United States have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, according to the National Eye Institute. And the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy.
To protect your vision, take prevention seriously. Start by controlling your blood sugar level and scheduling yearly eye exams.