Patient Advice: Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

As the leading cause of blindness in adult Americans, it’s more important now than ever to ensure you’re getting regular retinal examinations to diagnose and begin treatment for diabetic retinopathy as early as possible. Your best chance at maintaining your vision is to be diagnosed during the earliest stages of this disease.





Unfortunately, most people don’t exhibit any signs or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until complications and permanent damage have already occurred. Although a regular retinal examination is your best defense, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should visit your ophthalmologist immediately.


  • — Changes in your vision, such as blurring, seeing double or having trouble reading.
  • — Seeing spots or dark strings, known as “floaters,” in your vision.
  • — Vision problems that come and go.
  • — Difficulty distinguishing colors.
  • — Dark areas or blanks in your visual field.


The best way to avoid diabetic retinopathy is to maintain proper control of your diabetes. Although the exact cause hasn’t been determined, studies have shown that high levels of blood glucose are a contributing factor.


optomap ultra-widefield retinal images have been found to be equal to ETDRS1 in all categories. With a 200 degree optomap image, a literature review found that 66% more pathology was revealed outside the traditional field of view, allowing your doctor to potentially find signs of retinopathy that may otherwise be overlooked. To learn more about optomaps, we invite you to visit our patient section, which includes a video for you to watch. If you’re a doctor who wishes to provide your patients optomap technology to diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy as early as possible, please view our products or contact us today.


1 Kiss et al. Comparison of ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography with the Heidelberg Spectralis® noncontact ultra-widefield module versus the Optos® optomap. Clin Ophthalmol. 2013, 389-94.

2 Data on file

Image Source: optomap