Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness in working age people in Australia. This life-changing disease is considered to be a significant health threat worldwide.
Approxmately 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes 1.2 million Australians have diagnosed (known) diabetes, and an estimted 500,000 wit undiagnosed diabetes.
Of these, over 300,000 (between 25-35%) have some degree of diabetic retinopathy and about 65,000 have progressed to sight-threatening eye disease.
Most people with diabetic retinopathy should keep most, if not all vision, providing it is diagnosed early and all steps are taken to keep it under control.