Diabetic Eye Disease Problems & Prevention

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diabetic Eye Disease Problems & Prevention

November has been designated National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month-a time to consider the diabetes related eye problems and their prevention. Connecticut eye physician & surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. reviewed information from Prevent Blindness America. “What we know from the most recent Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. report is that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. This is compounded by the data from the Centers for Disease Control indicating that diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the United States and is really an American epidemic. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy and its related complications,” said Dr. Doctor.
The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. identified that there are almost 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy. This represents an 89 percent increase between the years 2000-2012. “While it is not surprising that the incidence of some eye diseases and problems is increasing with the aging of the baby boomer population, it is terribly disturbing to see the dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases, a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that this country is experiencing with no end in sight,” Dr. Doctor explained.
The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time.

More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year.

As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease. In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visiting Doctor & Associates or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.