Diabetic retinopathy remains the leading vascular-associated cause of blindness throughout the world. Its treatment requires a multidisciplinary interventional approach at both systemic and local levels. Current management includes laser photocoagulation, intravitreal steroids, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment along with systemic blood sugar control. Anti-VEGF therapies, which are less destructive and safer than laser treatments, are being explored as primary therapy for the management of vision-threatening complications of diabetic retinopathy such as diabetic macular edema (DME). This review provides comprehensive information related to VEGF and describes its role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy, and in addition, examines the mechanisms of action for different antiangiogenic agents in relation to the management of this disease. Medline (Pubmed) searches were carried out with keywords "VEGF", "diabetic retinopathy", and "diabetes" without any year limitation to review relevant manuscripts used for this article.