Diabetes and hypertension frequently coexist and constitute the most notorious combination for the pathogenesis of DR. Large clinical trials have clearly demonstrated that tight control of glycaemia and/or blood pressure significantly reduces the incidence and progression of DR. The mechanism by which hypertension interacts with diabetes to exacerbate the retinal disease is not completely understood. From experimental studies, increasing evidence demonstrates that chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are involved. In the present review, we summarize data obtained from our research along with those from other groups to better understand the role of hypertension in the pathogenesis of DR. It is suggested that oxidative stress and inflammation may be common denominators of retinal damage in the presence of hypertension in diabetic patients.