Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. It affects people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and is a leading cause of blindness in working age adults. The term “diabetic retinopathy” refers to a variety of eye disorders characterized by changes in the eye’s innermost lining of light-sensitive cells, known as the retina, which can occur in people diagnosed with diabetes. In the U.S., diabetic retinopathy causes approximately 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year; making diabetes the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20 to 74.
Diabetic macular edema causes damage to the retina through swelling, fluid leaks or abnormal growth of blood vessels, often resulting in severe vision loss or blindness. Usually affecting both eyes in about 60 % of people, diabetic retinopathy may not be noticeable in its early stages. It can develop so gradually that serious retinal damage may take place before any vision loss is noticed.
As incidences of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy escalate, Alimera Sciences is committed to research and development to meet the increasing need for reliable, effective treatments for ocular complications associated with diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy Signs and Symptoms
Physicians may look for the following signs when diagnosing diabetic retinopathy in their patients: microaneurysms, intraretinal vascular abnormalities, swelling and beading of venous system, or hard and soft exudates.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can go unnoticed because it has few or no warning signs. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include: floaters, blurred vision, fluctuating vision, dark or empty areas in your vision, poor night vision, impaired color vision and vision loss.