Diabetes in America
According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans or 8.3% of the total population have Diabetes. We have all been impacted by this disease. If you do not suffer from Diabetes, you almost certainly have friends or family who do. The importance of a yearly eye exam cannot be stressed enough as diabetics are at a higher risk for eye disease, and these conditions will frequently not present any noticeable symptoms until they have become more advanced. Early detection is key.
Vision Problems of Diabetics
- Glaucoma: Diabetics are 40% more likely to have glaucoma, and the risk increases with age. Glaucoma is when pressure builds in the eyes causing the blood vessels to constrict which limits the amount of blood that is being carried to the retina. This is a treatable condition, but left unchecked can lead to permanent vision loss
- Cataracts: Diabetics are 60% more likely to suffer from Cataracts. They also tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and unfortunately the disease may progress faster. Cataracts are characterized by clouding on the eye’s lens which blocks vision.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a catch-all term for retinal disorders caused by Diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults ages 20-74.
What can you do to minimize your risk?
- Yearly eye exams are essential. Dilating the eyes to view the entire retina will show if there are conditions that need to be treated.
- Keep your blood sugars stable
- Keep your blood pressure low and stable
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t ignore blurry vision
- Eat a diet rich in nutrients that benefit your vision
(For more information on eye nutrition see the following blog posts)