Diabetic retinopathy complications are a common side effect associated with diabetes because blood vessels in the retina often become restricted, leading to vision problems. A vitreous hemorrhage may occur because of this, which means blood vessels may leak into the clear substance that is found in the center of the eye. Although this doesn’t normally cause permanent vision loss, vision can be compromised by dark spots or “floaters” for as little as a few weeks or as long as a few months.

One of the other diabetic retinopathy complications associated with the disease is the potential for retinal detachment. This happens because the damaged blood vessels in the eye can produce scar tissue that can in some cases pull the retina away from the back of the eye. Severe vision loss, spots in the vision or floating vision are signs that retinal detachment may have occurred.

Glaucoma is another complication that may arise from diabetic retinopathy. When new blood vessels grow in the front part of the eye, it can put pressure on the optic nerve and damage it. The optic nerve is what carries information from a person’s eye to their brain. If any of these diabetic retinopathy complications becomes too advanced, total blindness can be the result.


How Diabetic Retinopathy Complications can be Treated


The first step to taking care of diabetic retinopathy complications that are present or may develop is to see an eye doctor on a regular basis. These specialists can detect problems in the early stages, making them easier to treat. Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, a few surgical procedures may slow or stop its progression. There are also certain treatments and procedures that can be helpful when dealing with diabetic retinopathy complications.

Focal laser treatment is an option that can stop or slow the leakage of blood and fluid in the eye. This procedure, also called a photocoagulation, can be performed in a doctor’s office. Although some patients experience spots in their vision after the treatment, these typically disappear within the first few weeks after the procedure. Scatter laser treatment is another solution used to treat diabetic retinopathy complications. It can also be completed in an eye clinic. During scatter laser treatment, laser burns shrink abnormal new blood vessels.

Because vitreous hemorrhages pollute the center of the eye, a vitrectomy can remove the blood that has leaked into it. This procedure is more complicated than focal or scatter laser treatment and must be performed in a hospital or surgery facility. Scar tissue that has developed can also be removed during a vitrectomy.  Sometimes this procedure is also followed by laser treatment. The after effects of this surgery may include blurred vision, but it returns to normal in many patients.