Diabetes mellitus (DM) affects 180 million people worldwide, a large proportion in developing countries, and this is likely to double by 2030. Due to its debilitating effect on both large and small blood vessels throughout the body, complications are protean. These include blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, nerve function impairment, diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene and limb amputations.
Diabetic Eye Disease, particularly diabetic retinopathy, is responsible for approximately 1.8 million blind and 28.6 million cases is a major cause of personal disability and societal economic burden even in industrialized countries where better-established medical and social support infrastructure are available.
Early detection and treatment continues to be key in preventing blindness from diabetic retinopathy. Landmark studies have shown that retinal laser treatment at the appropriate time is successful in reducing the risk of blindness by up to 90% in proliferating disease, and 50% in diabetic macular edema.