Diabetes drug semaglutide may prevent vision loss

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Recent research presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting brings hopeful news to those with type 2 diabetes concerned about eye health.

Study on Diabetic Retinopathy and Semaglutide

Dr. Zeeshan Haq and colleagues from Retina Consultants of Minnesota investigated the effects of semaglutide, a diabetes medication, on diabetic retinopathy (DR)—a diabetes complication that can lead to impaired vision.

Their study included a vast sample of 96,432 eyes from patients who started semaglutide between January 2013 and December 2021.

Findings Reveal Minimal Worsening

The study showed that most eyes did not have a worsening of diabetic retinopathy after beginning semaglutide treatment. At the start, a majority of eyes either had no retinopathy or a mild form.

Over time, only a small fraction showed any progression in the condition. In fact, eyes with more severe DR showed notable improvement at follow-up checks.

Particularly significant was the improvement observed in eyes with severe nonproliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Up to 58.7% of these eyes saw betterment over two years.

A Call for Further Research

While the results are promising, Dr. Haq suggests that more research is needed, especially to understand the medication’s impact on patients with more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy.

Patients with type 2 diabetes who are thinking about semaglutide as a treatment option should discuss their specific health situations with their healthcare and eye care providers.

The consultation is vital to ensure that the medication aligns with their overall health plans and to understand its potential effects on their eye health.


The study offers a glimpse into the potential benefits of semaglutide for patients with diabetic retinopathy, expanding the options for diabetes management with a watchful eye on preserving vision.

With further research, these findings could lead to more informed decisions for patients and providers alike.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and what you need to know about avocado and type 2 diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about how to eat to prevent type 2 diabetes, and 5 vitamins that may prevent complication in diabetes.

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