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.

How do DR and DME affect the eyes?

In DR and DME, high blood sugar blocks blood vessels in the eye and damages the retina, leading to problems with vision

New blood vessels grow when blockages occur, but are unhealthy and weak

Blood and fluid leak from the blood vessels into the retina, causing problems with vision

What are the different stages of diabetic retinopathy?

DR can be “early” or “late” stage. DR begins in the early stage called NPDR. Without treatment or controlled blood sugar, DR can advance to the late stage called PDR.

Early stage: Non‐proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR)

  • In NPDR, high blood sugar causes damage to small or large blood vessels in the eye. This damages eye cells and leads to problems with vision
  • This early stage is called “non‐proliferative” because the eye is damaged, but no new unhealthy blood vessels are growing


Late stage: Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)

  • In PDR, damaged blood vessels close off, and the eye tries to make new blood vessels. However, they leak blood or fluid and lead to problems with vision
  • This stage is called “proliferative” because the eye is growing new blood vessels to replace blocked or damaged ones

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