Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)
Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, is responsible for 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults age 20 to 74 years of age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is estimated that over 20 million Americans have diabetes.
Diabetes causes abnormal glucose metabolism as a result of decreased levels of insulin or insulin resistance. Increased levels of blood glucose are thought to have a structural and physiological effect on retinal capillaries (small blood vessels in the back of the eye, causing them to be both functionally and anatomically incompetent).
Annual comprehensive eye exams are important and highly recommended.