Early Detection

With Diabetic Retinopathy (DR),
progression can occur quickly1

In a Large Retrospective Analysis, Just 2 Years After Diagnosis of DR1:

Patients with proliferative DR (PDR) were 4× more likely to have sustained blindness vs patients with mild DR1

Patients with severe NPDR were 3.6× more likely to have sustained blindness vs patients with mild NPDR1

AAO Iris® (Intelligent Research in Sight) registry records from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017; N=53,535 patients newly diagnosed with DR (n=678 evaluated for risk of sustained blindness). Risk of sustained blindness increased with development of glaucoma, AMD, RVO, diabetic macular edema (DME), vitreous hemorrhage, or retinal detachment. Sustained blindness defined as ≥2 visual acuity readings of 20/200 or worse in ≥3 months apart; no improvement beyond 20/100 after first 20/200 reading.

DR Can Become More Severe Quickly1

Even in the course of a year, patients’ eyes can progress from one stage of DR to the next.2

Why Is Early Detection So Critical?

In a Clinical Study, Approximately a Third of Patients With Severe NPDR Progressed to
PDR/Anterior Segment Neovascularization (ASNV) or Developed Central-Involved DME
(CI-DME) Within 1 Year Without Treatment (prespecified subgroup analysis)2

In one study, 29.4% of severe Non-Prolifiterive Diabetic Retinopathy and 17.2% of moderately severe NPDR patients progressed to PDR/ASNV, while 32.4% of severe NPDR and 23.2% of moderately severe NPDR patients progressed to CI-DME within 1 year
Severe NPDRPDR/ASNV 29.4%
1 year
Moderately Severe NPDRPDR/ASNV 17.2%
Severe NPDRCI-DME 32.4%
Moderately Severe NPDRCI-DME 23.2%

Take Action3,4

If you see or suspect DR and DME:

Educate patients about Diabetic Retinopathy and treatment options

EDUCATE about the effects diabetes can have on their eyes, including the possibility of developing DR or DME3,4

  • Your early and frequent discussions about progression of disease, treatment, and timely referral will help empower patients3,4
  • Talk to your patients about modifiable risk factors (e.g., diet, weight, and tobacco use) for the development and progression of DR and DME5
Identify and refer appropriate Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema patients.

REFER appropriate DR and DME patients for timely intervention3,4

  • According to the AOA, patients should be referred with
    • Severe NPDR within 2 to 4 weeks
    • PDR within 1 week
Ensure those patients visit a retina specialist when appropriate

FOLLOW UP to ensure patients have visited a retina specialist3,4

Monitor patients with Diabetic Retinopathy and/or Diabetic Macular Edema.

MONITOR your patients with DR3,4

  • The AOA recommends frequent monitoring of patients3
    • At least every 6 to 8 months in patients with moderate NPDR and more frequently for patients with greater disease severity3

According to the AOA, DR patients should be referred to a retina specialist in a timely manner

When Patients Should Be Seen by a Retina Specialist3

High-risk PDR (with or
without macular edema)
Within 24 to 48 hours
PDR Within 2 to 4 weeks
DME/CSME Within 2 to 4 weeks
Severe NPDR Within 2 to 4 weeks

AAO = American Academy of Ophthalmology;
AMD = age-related macular degeneration;
CSME = clinically significant macular edema;
RVO = retinal vein occlusion.

See More Important Safety Information and Indications
  • CONTRAINDICATIONS: EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection is contraindicated in patients with ocular or periocular infections, active intraocular inflammation, or known hypersensitivity to aflibercept or to any of the excipients in EYLEA.
Important Safety Information and Indications INDICATIONS

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection 2 mg (0.05 mL) is indicated for the treatment of patients with Neovascular (Wet) Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).

Please see the full Prescribing Information for EYLEA.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

The information provided in this site is intended only for healthcare professionals in the United States. The products discussed herein may have different product labeling in different countries.


  1. Wykoff C et al. Baseline factors influencing time to blindness in patients with diabetic retinopathy: an AAO IRIS® Registry Analysis. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting; October 27-30, 2018; Chicago, IL.
  2. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Research Group. Fundus photographic risk factors for progression of diabetic retinopathy. ETDRS report number 12. Ophthalmology. 1991;98(5 suppl):823-833.
  3. Care of the Patient With Diabetes Mellitus: Quick Reference Guide. American Optometric Association website. http://bit.ly/2M22OUJ. Accessed January 14, 2020.
  4. Ferrucci S, Yeh B. Diabetic retinopathy by the numbers. Rev Optom. June 15, 2016. http://bit.ly/2KNNJ4E. Accessed January 14, 2020.
  5. Appold K. Subscriber exclusive: tips on managing diabetic patients—developing provider relationships, educating the patient and tracking clinical signs are key. Optom Manag. May 2019. http://bit.ly/2KQPBYZ. Accessed January 14, 2020.