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The impact of diabetic retinopathy: understanding the patient's perspective
  1. E K Fenwick1,
  2. K Pesudovs2,
  3. G Rees1,
  4. M Dirani1,
  5. R Kawasaki1,
  6. T Y Wong1,3,
  7. E L Lamoureux1,3
  1. 1Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2NH&MRC Centre for Clinical Eye Research, Discipline of Optometry and Vision Science, Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Australia
  3. 3Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to A/Professor Ecosse Lamoureux, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne St, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia; ecosse{at}

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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious microvascular complication of diabetes.1 Nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes and more 60% of those with type 2 diabetes will develop some degree of DR after 20 years of diabetes.2 3 In its non-proliferative stages, DR is mostly asymptomatic but may cause significant and disabling vision loss once it progresses to severe non-proliferative DR (NPDR) and proliferative DR (PDR) stages. Furthermore, clinically significant diabetic macular oedema (DME), which causes centralised vision loss, can occur at any stage.3 4 Vision impairment from DR and DME places a considerable burden on patients' quality of life (QoL).5–8

The stages of DR are classified according to the presence and extent of well-defined clinical signs. The advanced stages affect visual performance in a number of ways, including visual acuity, depth perception, colour …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.