So to clarify, were you diagnosed with background retinopathy or proliferative? You might want to ask if you don't know, as both have different guidelines for activity. ( you should not do anything to cause increase in head pressure when working out, if you have proliferative.
I don't think bleeding that you can see happens until the proliferative stage, so may you are seeing cotton wool spots or micro hemorages.
Lowering the a1c quickly after a long period of hyperglycemia can in some cases worsen the existing retinopathy. I had Moderate NPDR ( background) but when I went from an 8.9 to a 6.2 in 6 months it got worse in 1 eye. I don't need laser yet, but am going every 5 months instead of 6 now to get checked at Joslin. I am told by my endo, that it can and will stabilize eventually but may take a couple years to do that. So far it has been almost a year, and I still notice some worsening spots from time to time, but much less than when I first got into better control. The body needs time to catch up. It takes 2-5 years for the vascular bed to rework itself to the lack of chemicals that caused the breakdown to begin with...low blood sugar is worse than high from what I am told, as it can cause an increase in VGEF , which sends signals to the brain to grow new vessels if there is ischemia ( lack of oxygen in the eye) so avoid bad lows...a low A1c is not as important as a consistent blood sugar range.
I find any time I deviate outside ( 100-200) I get some issues. But mainly from lows, because the vessels are now going from pumping faster to slower...think of it like a bunch of garden hoses in a field. You have little holes in the hoses and high sugars tend to cause the dysfunction of the body to regulate the speed the water goes through the hoses...so you get leakage and such, then when you lower the A1c, the water pressure is lowered, which does less damage to the hose, but does not allow the field to get as much water because the water ( oxygen) is not getting to all parts as forcefully and some parts of the field die. I know it is a silly analogy but it made sense to me when I was trying to grasp the process. This is what causes the brain to eventually try to increase flow by making news vessels.
So stay in a tighter range, avoiding lows and get as much cardio as you can to increase oxygen. That is what I am doing. Good luck!