Diabetes and the Eye

  • Massimo PortaEmail author
  • José Cunha-Vaz
Reference work entry
Part of the Endocrinology book series (ENDOCR)


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains a leading cause of visual impairment in the industrialized world and a growing concern in developing countries, as diabetes is rapidly expanding worldwide. It is classified as nonproliferative (mild, moderate, or severe) and proliferative, with diabetic macular edema potentially developing at either stage. The prevalence and incidence of DR increase with diabetes duration and worsening of glycemic and blood pressure control. Current approaches to prevent DR include optimized control of blood glucose and blood pressure and screening for early identification of high-risk, though still asymptomatic, retinal lesions. Results from clinical trials suggest a role for renin-angiotensin system blockers and fenofibrate in reducing progression and/or inducing regression of mild to moderate nonproliferative DR. Laser photocoagulation remains the mainstay of treatment for proliferative DR and for non-center-involved diabetic macular edema, whereas intravitreal administration of anti-VEGF agents was shown to improve vision in center-involved macular edema and may become an option also for proliferative DR.


Diabetes mellitus Diabetic retinopathy Glycemic control Serum lipids Retinal photocoagulation Vascular endothelial growth factor 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diabetic Retinopathy Centre, Department of Medical SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image (AIBILI) and University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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