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Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people 20 to 74 years of age in the United States.1 DR is the most common eye problem caused by diabetes, and DME is a complication of DR.2 Both are serious conditions that can cause vision problems.2

What is DR?

DR happens when too much blood sugar (glucose) damages the blood vessels in the retina 2 As a result:

  • The retina does not get enough blood and nutrients2
  • Blood vessels can leak blood into the retina2

What is DME?

DME is a complication of DR. In DME, the macula swells with fluid leaked from the damaged blood vessels.2

Diabetes can affect your vision permanently

If you have diabetes, a dilated eye exam can detect changes in your vision. Don't wait. Be sure to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year.2 Also be sure to follow up with your eye doctor on a regular basis.2

Trust your eye care team

Your eye care team is there to help you

DME and DR in DME may lead to vision loss.2 However, you can take important steps to help your vision.2

Your eye care team can help you manage your eye health and treat your eye condition. Your loved ones are there to support you, too. Talk with them so they know how to best help you manage living with diabetes and your eye condition.

Help your eyes fight back

Not sure what to ask your eye care team during your next appointment? We're here to help.

What you may be seeing

Having DME or DR in DME may change the way you see the world

At first, you may have no symptoms of DME or DR in DME.2 When symptoms appear, they may affect your ability to read, write, drive, and recognize faces.2 And, over time, both conditions may lead to vision loss.2

See the world with symptoms of DME and DR in DME through virtual reality

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) virtual reality app

Learn more about the common symptoms of DME and DR in DME by seeing life through In My Eyes. DME and DR in DME is a disease that can get worse, so taking action can make a difference. Share the app with your loved ones to help them better understand what you may be experiencing.

Monitoring your vision is important

Tests your doctor may use

Your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose and monitor your condition and check your treatment progress:

Visual acuity test

acuity test

Measures how well you see the letters on an eye chart from a distance.

Dilated eye exam

eye exam

Your doctor puts drops into your eye to dilate (widen) the pupil . He or she can then see the back of the eye, including the retina, for signs of problems or changes.

Fundus photography


A special camera takes photos showing the inside of the back of the eye.

Fluorescein angiography


Dye is used to show the blood vessels in the back of the eye.

Optical coherence tomography

Optical coherence

An imaging test that shows the layers and thickness of the retina.

Take action with the Amsler Grid

Because DME or DR with DME can get worse, it is important that you check your vision in between eye appointments.6 The Amsler Grid is a simple eye test you can do on your own at home every day.6

Follow the directions below to download your Amsler Grid. If you see any problem areas while you're giving yourself the test, mark them with a pencil on the Amsler Grid. If your vision is getting worse, contact your eye care team right away!

How to use your Amsler Grid

You or your loved ones can use the slider below to get an idea of what DME or DR with DME can do to your vision.

Normal Vision

Impaired Vision

It's important to see your eye doctor regularly

With DME or DR in DME, it's vital to keep your appointments and stay on course with your doctor's recommended treatment plan.2

Tips to help with vision

Just a few changes may make a big difference in your daily routine

Control light, contrast, and glare7,8
Low vision lighting tip
  • Keep rooms evenly lit, use adjustable lamps for direct light, and use nightlights
  • Use contrasting colors around the house—for example, paint doorframes and railings a different color from walls
Take charge of your kitchen7,8
Low vision kitchen tip
  • Organize items on shelves in cabinets and in the refrigerator
  • Mark appliance dials with brightly colored stickers
Manage your medicines7,8
Low vision medication tip
  • Mark pill bottles with differently colored rubber bands or Velcro to tell them apart
  • Use large-print pill boxes
Improve your view7-11
Improving your vision tip
  • Read with a magnifying glass
  • Read large-print materials
  • Enlarge the type size on your computer, and maximize contrast settings
Stay organized7,8
Low vision organization tip
  • Keep commonly used items in the same easy-to-reach places
  • Remove clutter, cords, and throw rugs
When you are out and about7,12
Living with low eye sight tip
  • Carry a magnifying device and a penlight or small flashlight
  • Wear sunglasses to reduce glare
  • Talk to your retina specialist about driving, and avoid driving at night

Your eyes are a beautiful pair

DME may try to slow them down. But EYLEA may be able to help. Talk to your doctor and ask if EYLEA is right for you.

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