The Impact of COVID-19 on Diabetic Retinopathy Monitoring and Treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the leading causes of vision loss worldwide. Although screening and early treatment guidelines for DR have significantly reduced the disease burden, restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have changed real-world practice patterns in the management of DR. This review summarizes evolving guidelines and outcomes of the treatment of DR in the setting of the pandemic. Recent Findings: Intravitreal injections for DR have decreased significantly globally during the pandemic, ranging from approximately 30 to nearly 100% reduction, compared to corresponding timepoints in 2019. Most studies on functional outcomes show a decrease in visual acuity on delayed follow-up. Summary: Changing practice patterns in the management of DR has led to fewer intravitreal injections and overall reduction in visual acuity on follow-up. As COVID variants emerge, it will be necessary to continue evaluating practice guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalCurrent diabetes reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Diabetic macular edema
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Intravitreal injections
  • Practice patterns
  • Visual acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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