Vascular complications of diabetes mellitus, including the evolution of the retinal damage known as diabetic retinopathy, have been recognized for centuries. Over the past decade, advances in technology such as retinal imaging and the development of new therapies have dramatically improved the evaluation, treatment, and visual outcomes of patients with diabetic retinopathy. Nonetheless, diabetic macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy remain the leading causes of both moderate and severe vision loss in most developed countries. This article reviews the worldwide effect of diabetic retinopathy and recent changes in the evaluation and treatment of affected patients.
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