Symptoms

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there are often no symptoms and vision is not affected.

People with macular edema or proliferative retinopathy may notice vision loss from leaking blood blocking the field of vision. Still, even in these advanced stages, it’s possible to have no symptoms at all – despite the fact there is a very high risk of vision loss.

This is why it’s critical for people living with diabetes to see their eye doctor regularly for comprehensive eye exams, in order to detect and treat diabetic retinopathy.

Visit your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice:

  • dark spots in your visual field.

  • blurred, distorted or double vision.

  • large “floaters” – specks in the form of dots, circles, lines or cobwebs that move across your field of vision. They are most noticeable when looking at a white wall or clear sky. (These may or may not be a sign of diabetic retinopathy, but should be checked.)

Back to top of page