Diabetic retinopathy, one of the complications of diabetes (others being vascular disease, renal failure and leg amputation) is an important cause of avoidable blindness globally. The risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) increases with increasing duration of diabetes and poor control of blood glucose, cholesterol and high blood pressure. DR cannot be entirely prevented, but the severe stages which are sight threatening can be reduced by improved control of risk factors. Visual loss can be controlled by early detection and treatment (i.e. laser treatment and/or injection of agents into the eye).