Both Type I and Type II diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. The severity depends on how long the disease has been present and how well it has been controlled. There are two stages of diabetic eye disease: background diabetic retinopathy (BDR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). In BDR, there may be microscopic changes to the capillaries called microaneurysms. There may also be areas of bleeding and leakage. In PDR, there are areas of new blood vessels that grow and can often times cause bleeding and/or retinal scarring and detachments. In both types of diabetic retinopathy, there can be swelling of the macula which is the central bullseye portion of the retina. There are many treatments including laser, medication injections and surgery to prevent vision loss. The key is early diagnosis and management. Diabetic patients should have an annual eye exam. If diabetic retinopathy is present, then more frequent follow-ups may be necessary.