Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Around 87,000 people (and increasing) in Northern Ireland have been diagnosed with the condition. That’s approximately 1 in every 22 people.
However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight.
To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should:
- ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol
- attend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on