What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

published on: 15th march, 2023

As one of the complications of diabetes mellitus types I and II, retina alterations in its neuronal and vascular cells occur. As one of the leading causes of blindness, it disrupts the normal flow of interaction of the retinal neural and vascular components leading to vascular permeability, neovascularization, and loss of proper neural function.

What are the causes of- Diabetic Retinopathy?

With*increase in the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles, life expectancy and eating habits alterations which consequently leads to obesity, incidence of its complications has increased in the previous years. Diabetic retinopathy occurs due to the changes on the rheological properties of the blood and the vascular wall.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Multiple ocular manifestations of diabetes include precipitation cataract formation, Keratitis and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic patients are at risk for multiple complications including, but not limited to cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

Primary Mechanisms Causing Blindness Due To Diabetic Retinopathy

Three primary mechanisms by which diabetic retinopathy causes blindness include macular ischemia, retinal and vitreous hemorrhage, and retinal detachment. Macular ischemia leads to hypoxia and death of light-sensitive cells. Retinal and vitreous hemorrhage which cause the pooling of blood in the back of the eye which obscures one's vision. Detachment if the retina can occur suddenly and constitutes an ophthalmic emergency due to permanent vision loss if not treated immediately.


  • Systemic Factor Control
  • Laser Therapy
  • Pharmacotherapies
  • Surgical Therapies
  • Anti-VEGF Agents
  • Extended Drug Delivery
  • Other Novel Targets


  • Antonetti, D. A. Silva, P. S., & Stitt, A. W. (2021). Current understanding of the molecular and cellular pathology of diabetic retinopathy. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 17(4), 195-206.
  • Radi, R. E., Damanhouri, E. T., & Siddiqui, M. I. Diabetic retinopathy causes, symptoms, and complications: a review.
  • Robin, A., & Giovingo, M. (2021). Screening recommendations for diabetics. Disease-a- Month, 67(5), 101116.
  • Morello, C. M. (2007) Etiology and natural history of diabetic retinopathy: an overview. American journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 64(17_Supplement_12), S3-S7.
  • Das, A., Stroud, S., Mehta, A., & Rangasamy, S. (2015). New treatments for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes, Obesity and Metablosim, 17(3), 219-230.

Did You Know?

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes affecting the area at the back of the eyes called the retina. High levels of sugar in your blood can damage the blood vessels which transport blood through the body, leading to small breaks in the vessel walls. If the vessels in the retina are damaged in this way, they can leak blood or serous fluid.

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