Retinal bleeding has an occurrence rate of seven cases per 1,000 people, making it one of the most common causes of decreased vision, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. People with untreated diabetes are 25 times more likely to develop blindness as a result of retina bleeding, as reported by the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.
There are three types of retinal hemorrhage. Abnormal blood vessel hemorrhage is the result of damage from diseases such as diabetes and sickle cell anemia. Normal blood vessel hemorrhage occurs when trauma damages an element of the eye, as occurs in retinal detachment. Normal blood vessel hemorrhaging is the most common form of retina hemorrhage in people under 40. The rarest form of the disease is caused by blood from an adjacent source, such as a tumor, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Symptoms of retinal hemorrhage include blurred vision, the sudden loss of vision in one eye, and seeing rings, dark spots or flashing lights. Diabetes increases the chance of retinal hemorrhage by 25 times. The longer a person has untreated diabetes, the higher a person's risk of suffering from retinal hemorrhage, according to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.
There are several behaviors and diseases that increase a person's chance of suffering from retinal hemorrhage. In addition to diabetes, high blood pressure increases the risk of retinal hemorrhage occurring. Elevated cholesterol levels are also known to increase the chances of retinal hemorrhage. Sleep apnea is associated with higher risk levels, the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center reports.