Sickle cell disease Retinopathy (1572)

Key points below

What is sickle cell retinopathy?

The retina is a lining in the back of the eye. It helps us see. Sickle cell retinopathy occurs when the sickled red blood cells block the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eyes. This can damage the retina, which can lead to vision problems.  

Permanent eye damage can occur if retinopathy is not caught in time.  It is most common with Hemoglobin SC Disease, but it can occur with the other forms of Sickle Cell Disease.

What are the symptoms?

What should be done if there are vision problems?

An eye doctor should still be seen on a regular basis. This should happen even if there are no problems. The sickle cell doctors and nurses will talk with you about how often to do this.


Call the doctor, nurse, or the Sickle Cell Center if you have any concerns or if your there are:

  • Any problems seeing. 
  • Special health care needs not covered by this information.

Sickle Cell Center. Call (414) 266-2420, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Ask to talk with a nurse.  
After hours, weekends or holidays. Call (414) 266-2000. Ask for the hematologist on call.