Anyone with diabetes is at risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. In its early stages, there may be little or no visual symptoms. This is what makes the condition so dangerous. Without early detection and treatment, Diabetic Retinopathy can permanently damage the retina. If the condition is not caught early, it may produce symptoms that affect vision. These include mild blurred vision, double vision, floaters, straight lines that do not look straight, and eventually the sudden loss of vision. If left untreated, it can cause severe vision loss and blindness. Unfortunately, this damage cannot usually be reversed, but if caught in time, modern treatment options may help slow its progression, and prevent further vision loss. It is critical for patients with diabetes to be examined on a regular basis, even if they have not yet noticed any symptoms. The American Diabetes Association recommends a dilated eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist at least once a year for anyone diagnosed with diabetes. If a patient experiences any significant change in their vision, they should contact their doctor for an immediate appointment, even if they recently had an examination.