Background Diabetic Retinopathy (BDR) is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. In some people with BDR, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Initially, patients with BDR may not notice vision changes.. But over time, BDR can get worse and cause vision loss. BDR usually affects both eyes. Diabetics should have yearly exams to detect if eye diabetic changes are present. If advanced, BDR is treatable with laser, injections of certain medicines, and/or a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy.