November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Get education on the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults in the US. Prevent Blindness offers informational resources, including fact sheets, training modules, and social media graphics to help save sight from diabetic-related eye disease. Lets look at diabetic related eye diseases and guidelines!
Diabetic Eye Diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020, shows that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes and 88 million more adults have pre-diabetes. Alarmingly, more people are developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes during youth, with racial and ethnic minorities continuing to develop type 2 diabetes at higher rates. The CDC wants to remind people that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults in the United States.
Diabetes-related retinopathy (DR) is a disease that damages the blood vessels of the eye, causing them to leak and bleed into the retina. Individuals may not experience symptoms in the early stages of DR, which is why it is important for individuals with diabetes to have an eye exam annually, or as directed by their doctor. Left untreated fluid can leak into the eye swelling the eye and blurring the vision
Cataracts, clouding of the eye lens cause vision to become blurry and colors to dull. Aside from aging, diabetes is the most common risk factor for blindness in adults.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve and causes possible loss of vision because of an increase in fluid pressure under the eye.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that finding and treating diabetic retinopathy early can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.
For those who have vision loss from diabetes, Prevent Blindness offers a free Living Well with Low Vision online resource. The site includes the “Low Vision: A Self-Help Guide,” the “Caring for the Visually Impaired” guide, and a variety of self-help tools and resource links at Living Well with Low Vision.
Making sure you have your eyes checked regularly will help to reduce your risks and provide early detection for diabetic eye disease.
For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.