In diabetes, the small blood vessels iGenics Review that are damaged can leak fluid of blood into the retina or into the eye itself. Damage from this process seen in two forms of diabetic retinopathy; background diabetic retinopathy BDR and proliferative diabetic retinopathy PDR. In BDR, the more common form of retinopathy, the leakage from small blood vessels causes swelling in the retina ant the formation of deposits called exudates. These changes cause the retina to malfunction which can lead to decreased vision. PDR begins in a manner similar to BDR. Over time, new abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the surface of the retina. These fragile vessels often bleed into the retina of into the vitreous, a substance that fills the inside of the eyeball. PDR can cause significant vision loss.
Diabetes often causes damage to small blood vessels throughout the body, including the eye. Damage to the eye is most commonly seen in the retina, the delicate tissue that lines the back of the inside eye. The retina receives light and transmits visual information to the brain, much like the film in a camera. Diabetes can also cause early development of cataracts and increase the risk of glaucoma. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of decreased vision and blindness.