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Diabetic retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy
Chapter:
Diabetic retinopathy
Author(s):

Catherine M. Guly

, Jane R. MacKinnon

, and John V. Forrester

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.1509
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date: 14 December 2019

Blindness is one of the most feared complications of diabetes and although only a small proportion of people with diabetes will become legally blind, a larger number will have significantly impaired vision affecting their daily life. They may have concerns ranging from difficulty reading the telephone directory to loss of their driving licence and hence, restricted independence. The main issues in diabetic retinopathy are identification of those at risk of visually threatening eye disease, addressing modifiable risk factors, and institution of appropriate treatment. All diabetic patients should have access to an effective screening programme. Laser photocoagulation of the retina remains the cornerstone of treatment of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, but over the last few years a number of new therapies have been tried and show promise in preventing visual loss from diabetic retinopathy. This chapter will discuss the epidemiology of diabetic retinopathy and the characteristic clinical features and will give an outline of practical management.

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