Uncontrolled glucose or blood pressure levels can cause diabetic retinopathy.
There are three stages to diabetic retinopathy:
Stage 1: background retinopathy
At this stage, tiny bulges appear in the blood vessels in the back of your eyes which may leak small amounts of blood. At this stage, your sight isn’t affected.
Stage 2: pre-proliferative retinopathy
At this stage, more severe and widespread blood vessels bleed into your retina, and your vision can be affected.
Stage 3: proliferative retinopathy
At this stage, new blood vessels and scar tissue form on your retina. This can cause significant bleeding and lead to retinal detachment where the retina pulls away from the back of the eye. There’s a very high risk you could lose your vision.
In some cases, the blood vessels in the part of the eye called the macula (the central area of the retina) can also become leaky or blocked. This is known as diabetic maculopathy.
If this occurs, your vision could be affected.