Diabetic retinopathy affects people with diabetes. The leading cause of blindness in American adults, it is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
This diabetic eye disease weakens the small blood vessels in the retina. Retinal blood vessels can break down, leak, or become blocked - affecting and impairing vision over time. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, damage to the eye can occur when abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy? ► Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy? ▼
What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy? ► What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy? ▼
How do eye doctors check for diabetic retinopathy? ► How do eye doctors check for diabetic retinopathy? ▼
How do eye doctors treat diabetic retinopathy? ► How do eye doctors treat diabetic retinopathy? ▼
Doctors have a range of options for treating individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Read More
Medicare benefits and your eyes ► Medicare benefits and your eyes ▼
Information about the Welcome to Medicare Physical. Read More
Vision care financial assistance resources ► Vision care financial assistance resources ▼
Contact information for organizations and services that may be able to help with the cost of vision care. Read More
Hope for the future ► Hope for the future ▼
Scientists are still working toward a better understanding of diabetic retinopathy, and new treatment options are on the horizon. In the meantime, early detection of retinopathy and close watch by an eye doctor are major goals for the successful treatment of patients with diabetes.
People with diabetes need to know that dangerous changes in the retina often happen before they notice changes in their sight. All people with diabetes should have a professional eye exam at least once a year. The eye doctor can decide if you need more frequent exams. People with diabetes should also get regular medical care to control their diabetes.