man with diabetes checks his blood sugar

Diabetic eye disease at a glance

  • Diabetic eye diseases are a set of eye problems that can affect people with diabetes
  • There are several kinds of diabetic eye diseases, and all of them can cause vision loss and blindness
  • People with diabetes can protect their vision by getting eye exams at least once a year
  • Controlling diabetes can help lower the risk of vision loss

More than 30 million people living in the United States have diabetes. Having diabetes increases the risk for vision loss and blindness from diabetic eye diseases. The most common diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy, but people with diabetes are also at higher risk for diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma.  

The longer a person has diabetes, the greater their risk of developing diabetic eye disease. But the good news is that early detection and treatment can lower the risk of blindness by 95%. And managing diabetes — with diet, exercise, and medication — is the best way for people with diabetes to lower the risk of vision loss. 

We need your help spreading the word about diabetic eye disease. Everyone with diabetes needs to know about the steps they can take to protect their vision.  

Learn more about diabetic eye diseases: 

Browse NEHEP resources

Our educational resources will help you share information about steps people with diabetes can take to lower their risk of vision loss.

stack of papers on red circle

Hand out articles and fact sheets

Our articles and handouts make it easy to spread the word about diabetic eye disease. You can share them online or print and hand them out in your community.

icon line graph

Share infocards and infographics

Use these materials to share information about diabetic eye disease with older adults, community leaders, and partner organizations. Print them out to hang in common areas or post them on your website and social media. 

icon media types

Watch videos and webinars

Use our videos and webinars to help people learn about diabetic eye disease and vision loss.

blood sugar monitor icon

Be part of Diabetic Eye Disease Month in November

Join the conversation in November — and share information about diabetic eye disease with your community all year long.

talk bubbles icon

Spread the word on social media

Share our social media posts, videos, and infographics to help start a conversation in your community about diabetic eye disease. 

icon media

Work with the media

Partnering with local newspapers, radio stations, and TV networks is a powerful way to reach people in your community — and we have tips and ready-to-use articles that make it easy.

information icon

Lead an information session

Use the educational module and materials in our Diabetes and Healthy Eyes toolkit in your information sessions.

Last updated: July 2019