Diabetic eye disease and problems from diabetic retinopathy continue to be a significant source vision loss. Here is what we know. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects more than 26 million people in the United States. The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. report indicates that almost 8 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy with diabetes being the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease.
Preventing Vision Loss from Diabetes
Patients can play an important role in preventing diabetic vision loss. More than 30% 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.
Diet & Lifestyle Choices to Reduce Risk of Diabetic Vision Loss
In addition to having regular eye exams and testing at the level recommended by 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, minimizing alcohol consumptions 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 by scheduling regular eye exams at The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.
The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.