A Clinical Perspective of Diabetic Retinopathy

Chris Hudson, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO


Geriatrics and Aging. 2008;11(6):333-341. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age, in spite of the fact that current treatments are effective. Vision loss occurs in DR due to the development of maculopathy, especially diabetic macular edema, and due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Vision loss due to DR is preventable with the appropriate monitoring and timely treatment. Improved patient and health professional, education to encourage tight control of blood glucose and other systemic factors, and the establishment of readily available and appropriately timed eye examinations are necessary steps to further reduce visual impairment of people with diabetes.

The aim of this review is to provide a clinical update on diabetic retinopathy (DR) for the primary care physician. It should be noted, however, that diabetes can impact other sites within the eye, especially the crystalline lens, resulting in a transient blurring of vision and cataract. Diabetes can also affect the anterior chamber, resulting in iris and anterior angle neovascularization and ultimately rubeotic glaucoma, and it can affect the blood supply to the extraocular muscles, resulting in paresis and diplopia.


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