Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease and is the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years. Between 12,000 and 24,000 new cases of blindness from diabetic retinopathy occur in the United States each year, according to the CDC; and many could be prevented with early intervention. But a significant percentage of Americans with diabetes are not aware of their risk of vision impairment from the disease. A recent article from Endocrinology Advisor presented research that suggests vitamin D deficiency may be linked to diabetic retinopathy.

The take-away: Be sure to have a diabetic retinal screening done every year (or every other year, whatever your doctor recommends). Take care to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunshine every day; and if you are an older adult, you may need a vitamin D3 supplement. Ask your doctor to test you for vitamin D deficiency.


American Optometric Association. “Diabetic Retinopathy,” American Optometric Association, n.d. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/diabetic-retinopathy (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Fong, Donald S., MD, MPH. “Retinopathy in Diabetes,” Diabetes Care 2004 Jan; 27(suppl 1): s84-s87. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.27.2007.S84. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/suppl_1/s84 (accessed on 8/3/2020.

Krochmal, Meryl, RD, CSP, CDE, CNSC. “Vitamin D and Retinopathy: Is There a Connection?” Type 2 Diabetes (September 27, 2016). https://type2diabetes.com/news/vitamin-d-retinopathy-connection/ (accessed on 8/3/2020).