Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy may cause visual loss when associated with macular edema or macular ischemia (secondary to retinal capillary nonperfusion). Proliferative diabetic retinopathy may cause severe visual loss if complicated by vitreous hemorrhage or traction detachment of the macula. Patients with diabetes benefit from collaboration between the internist and ophthalmologist. Tighter control of blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure reduce the risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy. Regular dilated eye examinations and appropriate intervention with laser or vitrectomy surgery help to preserve vision in patients with established macular edema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy.