Facts about diabetes disease and diabetic retinopathy. Dilated eye exams from an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) trained in recognizing diabetic retinopathy as diabetic complication are necessary to prevent loss of vision. Another fact about diabetic retinopathy is that until diabetic retinopathy becomes advanced, patients with diabetes disease remain without symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. Once pathologic changes occur within the retina, management changes from prevention of diabetic retinopathy to stabilization of the diabetic retinopathy disease process, so that vision may be preserved. The next fact about diabetes is that prolonged exposure to high glucose levels incites a cascade of harmful events in genetically susceptible patients with diabetes disease, leading to microvascular complications of diabetes such as diabetic retinopathy. Keeping glycated hemoglobin A1C levels below 7 percent target range can reduce the risk of onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy as one of diabetic complications by 35 to 75 percent. Important facts about diabetes and diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy are that hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, genetic factors, and especially smoking (yes, smoking of tobacco cigarettes) play significant riles in development and progression of diabetic retinopathy.