Take a closer look at DR

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) negatively affect the health of blood vessels and cells in the eye that help you see. They develop because of diabetes, uncontrolled high blood sugar, and other factors.

What are the different stages of diabetic retinopathy?

DR has 2 main stages. DR begins in the early stage, called NPDR. When DR advances to the later stage, it is known as PDR. 

  • During this earlier stage, blood vessels in the retina weaken
  • Tiny bulges in the vessels may leak into the retina
  • This may cause swelling of the macula—the back of the eye that helps you see fine detail

You may not have any symptoms right now, but over time, DR may get worse. That’s why it’s important to attend follow-up appointments with your Retina Specialist.


  • In this later stage, the eye tries to make new blood vessels to replace blocked or damaged ones
  • Blood and fluid from the new vessels may leak into the retina, causing vision problems

Why should I talk to my doctor if I have diabetes and vision problems?

If you have DR, acting on it with your doctor is important—DR may worsen, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Talk to your doctor about any vision problems you may be experiencing and what you can do to help manage them.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing problems with your vision, it’s important to report them to your doctor, or make an appointment with a Retina Specialist.

If you do not have a Retina Specialist, speak to your primary care physician, endocrinologist, or ophthalmologist about a referral.

Patient support for people with DR

Or call 1-866-LUCENTIS (1-866-582-3684), Monday through Friday, 9 AM-8 PM ET.

Learn how LUCENTIS may help with DR and DME