Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
It is estimated that:
- Almost 41% adults aged 40 and older with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy
- 8.2%have advanced, vision-threatening retinopathy
- Currently more than 4 million Americans aged 40 and older have some form of diabetic retinopathy
- By 2020 this number projected to reach 6.1 million
- There is a higher prevalence in African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Alaska Natives aged 20 and older
In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid or blood inside the eye. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Overview
Diabetic Retinopathy: PDR