Diabetic retinopathy occurs in a small percentage of people suffering from diabetes – many of the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) of the retina dissolve, usually in both eyes. Out of the remaining vessels, blood and tissue fluid can leak into the retina, causing permanent reduction of sharpness of vision. In other patients, fragile, new blood vessels can be created on the retina and, in many cases, bleed into the vitreous body (a gel that fills the space between retina and lens), blurring or destroying vision at different time intervals.
Blood is usually reapsorbed from the lens through the retina, but around the damaged blood vessel a scar is created that distorts or destroys the retinal portions, leading to permanent loss of vision. This disorder occurs more often in diabetics who do not monitor the level of blood sugar. All diabetics are prone to retinopathy, so they have to control their eyes regularly.
Diabetic retinopathy can now be effectively controlled by modern therapy. The development of brittle blood vessels from which blood is leaked can often be prevented by the application of laser beams.
Bleeding in vitreous body, which has not disappeared within a year, can be treated in a form of draining of the vitreous body with special instruments and replacing with artificial matter.