Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

Find Out What's Going on in the Back of Your Eyes

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can occur as a result of uncontrolled high blood sugar levels over time. Diabetic eye disease may lead to vision loss. Impaired vision can have an impact on the ability to work and do everyday tasks. But here’s the good news: your eye doctor can help. The first step is getting a dilated retina eye exam every year.

  • Approximately

    34.2 million


Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-741,2

Over time, diabetes (in particular, poorly-controlled diabetes) can damage blood vessels causing leakage and swelling, and eventually vision loss3

Diabetic retinopathy

  • Diabetic retinopathy impacts nearly

    7.7 million


Diabetic macular edema

  • Diabetic macular edema impacts nearly


    Americans (as of 2010), or an estimated

  • 10%

    of people with diabetic retinopathy5

Visit a retina specialist annually for a dilated retina eye exam.6 It’s the best way to help detect changes in vision and prevent vision loss due to DR and DME.


1 American Diabetes Association. Statistics. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes. Accessed September 13, 2021.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common Eye Disorders. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html. Accessed August 29, 2017.

3 National Eye Institute. Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy. Accessed August 29, 2017.

4 Prevent Blindness America. Diabetic Retinopathy. Available at: http://www.visionproblemsus.org/diabetic-retinopathy/diabetic-retinopathy-definition.html. Accessed August 29, 2017.

5 Varma R, et al. (2014) Prevalence of and risk factors for diabetic macular edema in the United States. JAMA Opthalmol 132(11):1334-40.