Duke retinal specialists are experts in diagnosing, managing, and treating diabetic retinopathy. We use the latest imaging devices to identify the changes in your eye caused by diabetic retinopathy and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment. Our specialists are recognized leaders in the field of diabetic retinopathy research. Our advanced training and experience ensure you get the care you need to prevent or halt the vision loss often associated with diabetic retinopathy.
About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes can harm your eye in many ways. The retina is the part of the eye most commonly affected; this damage is called diabetic retinopathy. Often, the early changes to your vision go unnoticed. That is why an accurate diagnosis at the earliest possible stage is important. The damage that can result from diabetic retinopathy can be caught early with sophisticated imaging technology. Your doctor can detect swelling, leaky, or blocked blood vessels as well as the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels before symptoms occur. Depending on the severity of your disease, we may monitor your condition or recommend a treatment that meets your needs. We work closely with you and your diabetes specialists to help you reduce your risk for vision loss and keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Tests for Diabetic Retinopathy
Determines the accuracy of your vision by determining the smallest letters you can see on a chart.
Dilated Eye Exam
Dilation drops allow your doctor to get a better look at your retina, optic nerve, and macula.
Optical Coherence Tomography
OCT is a computer-guided device that creates a 3D image map of the front part of your eye, the optic nerve, and the macula. It detects changes in the thickness of the macula, which is known as diabetic macular edema.
Dye is injected into your arm to identify new or leaking blood vessels in your eye. Magnified devices capture images that cannot be seen with your doctor’s naked eye.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked sixth in the nation and is the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2021–2022.
Comprehensive Care for Diabetic Retinopathy
Advanced Training and Experience
Our specialists combine advanced training with the experience that comes from treating large volumes of people with diabetic retinopathy. We routinely perform complicated surgeries, and our surgical suites are staffed by anesthesiologists and surgical nurses who have extensive training and experience in caring for people with complex eye conditions.
Latest Imaging Devices
Our researchers use the most sophisticated imaging to perform tests that help us diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy. The Optos wide-field imaging device allows for visualization of retinal outer edges. This significant advance better guides our treatment recommendations.
Low Vision Rehabilitation
If you are experiencing vision loss related to diabetic retinopathy, we conduct a thorough evaluation of your needs and give you the tools and knowledge to optimize your visual function and maximize your quality of life.
Our clinical social worker is available to help you cope with the emotional and psychological stress of vision loss, as well as other medical or environmental concerns.
You may be eligible to participate in our many ongoing research programs (clinical trials), which may lead to a better understanding of diabetic retinopathy and improve treatment options.