It occurs when small blood vessels in the retina weaken and leak, or when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina. The result is impaired vision and, potentially, blindness.Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic eye disease. But often there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced. For that reason, we recommend that anyone with – or at risk for – diabetes have a comprehensive, dilated eye examination at least once a year. Early detection and treatment are the key to maintaining healthy vision.