Myths and Facts about DR

About 21% of patients with type 2 diabetes will have diabetic retinopathy at the time of diabetic diagnosis.1

Type 1 diabetes: After 5 years, approximately 25% of people will have retinopathy, increasing to 60% after 10 years, and 80% after 15 years.2

Type 2 diabetes: The rate of retinopathy after 5 years is higher for those taking insulin (40%) compared to those who do not need it (24%). These rates more than double in patients who have had diabetes for 19 years.2

Your eye care provider is managing only a portion of your diabetes, specifically the eye disease. It is very important for you to continue to keep your appointments with your PCP and for all your doctors to work together.2 Your diabetic care team will include your PCP, your eye care provider and specialists that may include a retina specialist, low vision specialist, endocrinologist, registered dietician or nutritionist, diabetic health educator, dentist, pharmacist and podiatrist.


  1. Flaxel CJ, Adelman RA, Bailey ST, et al. Diabetic Retinopathy Preferred Practice Pattern. Ophthalmology. 2020;127(1): PP66-PP145.
  2. Fong DS, Aiello L, Gardner TW, et al. Retinopathy in Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004;27(supp1) s84-s87.

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Scientific Council

Neil M. Bressler, MD

James P. Gills Professor of Ophthalmology
Professor of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Baltimore, MD

A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO

Specializing in Diabetes Eye Care & Education, Chous Eye Care Associates
Adjunct Professor of Optometry, Western University of Health Sciences
AOA Representative, National Diabetes Education Program
Tacoma, WA

Steven Ferrucci, OD, FAAO

Chief of Optometry, Sepulveda VA Medical Center
Professor, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Sepulveda, CA

Julia A. Haller, MD

Wills Eye Hospital
Philadelphia, PA

Allen C. Ho, MD, FACS

Director, Retina Research
Wills Eye Hospital
Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
Philadelphia, PA

Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD

Director of Research, Retina Consultants of Houston
Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
Blanton Eye Institute & Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston, TX

Patient & Caregiver Educational Resources

The RELIEF Patient Toolkit is a resource center for patients who have been diagnosed with or who are interested in learning about diabetic retinopathy (DR). Choose from the options below to learn more.

This activity for Diabetic Retinopathy education is provided by Med Learning Group.
This activity is supported by an independent medical education grant from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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