An Annual Eye Exam Could Save Your Sight!
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. At Center For Sight, we’d like to let our family of patients know it is also Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, making it a great time to shine a spotlight on this debilitating and potentially sight-stealing disease. Recent stats report diabetes affects more than 34 million people in the United States. That’s more than one in 10 people living with diabetes.
Fast Facts About Diabetes and Your Vision
Diabetic Eye Disease poses a significant threat to anyone who suffers from diabetes. There are several different kinds of diabetic eye disease, but all of them have the potential to result in vision loss and even blindness.
At Center For Sight, we know a large part of living a 20/Happy life is enjoying good health, and that includes your eye health. So let’s get down to it:
- If you have diabetes, you could develop diabetic eye disease at any time. When blood sugar levels remain elevated over a long period, complications occur throughout your body, including your eyes.
- It’s possible to develop diabetic eye disease without showing ANY symptoms. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74.
- Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. As the disease progresses, blood vessels become blocked and prevent areas of the retina from receiving vital blood and nutrients.
- Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. It is caused by damaged blood vessels that swell and leak fluid into the macula (which is responsible for sharp, central vision). Over time, this swelling can lead to vision loss.
- Other vision complications from diabetes include glaucoma and cataracts. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics. Regular eye exams, early detection, and timely disease management can help protect against further vision loss.
- If you have diabetic eye disease, the reality is, you face a very real risk of losing your vision. However, it’s possible to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes-related blindness. You have the power to help protect against diabetes-related vision loss!
Don’t Skip Your Annual Sight-Saving Exam
Researchers found that more than half of patients with diabetes skip an annual comprehensive eye exam. They also discovered that patients with less severe diabetes and no eye problems were most likely to neglect to have these recommended yearly checks. This should not be!
Annual comprehensive eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, allowing for more timely treatment. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends people with diabetes have them annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care.
“If you have diabetes, it is so important to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
It’s one of the best things you can do to prevent vision loss.”
Eva Liang, MD, board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Center For Sight
At Center For Sight, we want our patients to enjoy a high quality of life while managing their diabetes. Our clinical team has extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes (even if you aren’t experiencing any eye symptoms), schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Center For Sight today to protect yourself from preventable vision loss.