A: The early stages of diabetic retinopathy typically progress unnoticed by sufferers. The condition is usually recognized only once symptoms start causing vision loss: blurred vision, vision fluctuations, colour perception difficulties, and floaters, flashes of light, or dark spots in the visual field. Advanced cases can lead to macular edema (swelling in part of the retina), and retinal detachment. The condition also raises the risk of glaucoma and cataracts.