Diabetic retinopathy is becoming one of the most important causes of new blindness among the adult population of the United States. In 1930, it accounted for less than 1% of the cases of newly reported blindness. However, in 1960, more than 15% of reported cases of blindness were due to diabetic retinopathy, and there is every indication to believe that this percentage will become even higher in the years to come.1 Not only are diabetics becoming more prevalent in the population, but with improved care many are now living long enough to manifest the retinopathy. In short, the therapy of clinical diabetes has been more successful than that of the vascular complications, and when the blood vessels of the eye deteriorate more rapidly than those which are necessary to maintain life, blindness ensues.
Diabetic retinopathy can be divided into a nonproliferative and proliferative stage. Microaneurisms, hemorrhages, and exudates characterize
OKUN E, CIBIS PA. The Role of Photocoagulation in the Therapy of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;75(3):337-352. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.00970050339007