Are You the One in Ten?
About one out of every 10 people in the U.S. has diabetes, a disease that puts them at an increased risk of developing serious eye disease. If you or a loved one are diabetic or pre-diabetic, you may already be aware of the risks of diabetic eye disease. But studies have shown that sixty percent of diabetics do not get the annual, sight-saving eye exams they need to preserve their vision.
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, a time when your Atlantic Eye physicians join the American Academy of Ophthalmology in encouraging those with diabetes to take proactive steps to protect their vision. Diabetes can cause several eye problems, including:
- Diabetic Retinopathy – When blood vessels in the retina swell, leak, or close off completely.
- Diabetic Macular Edema – When fluid builds up on the retina and causes swelling and blurry vision.
- Cataracts – The lenses in the eye can be clouded by the effects of diabetes.
- Glaucoma – Having diabetes doubles your chance of getting glaucoma, which leads to irreversible loss of vision.
Even if you don’t have a diabetic eye disease, diabetes can cause vision problems. If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can temporarily affect the shape of your eye’s lens, causing blurry vision. To ensure that your eyeglass prescription is correct, it’s important to have your blood sugar controlled before your eye exam.
The good news is, having a dilated eye exam yearly or as recommended by an ophthalmologist can prevent 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss. If you are diabetic and have not had a full eye exam with an ophthalmologist, it is crucial to get one now and to come in for follow-up exams as your Atlantic Eye physician recommends.