Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels increase the risk for this disease, as does long-term diabetes. Adult onset (type 2) diabetics should be evaluated at the time of diagnosis and every year thereafter, whereas juvenile onset (type 1) diabetics should be evaluated at least five years after diagnosis and every year thereafter.
Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure at an even level can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. Even controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, therefore you should have your eyes examined once a year to allow your eye care professional to diagnose and begin treatment of your diabetic retinopathy.