November is American Diabetes Month
by Dr. Kyle Kelly
According to the American Diabetes Association®, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes increases the risk for many serious health problems, some of which affect the eyes. For example, people with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma and 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts earlier than people without diabetes. A third concern for people with diabetes is retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.
Routine exams are important to everyone’s eye health, but diabetics should have a dilated eye exam every year. Smoking cessation, high blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and blood sugar control are also strongly advised to prevent eye problems.
Don’t wait for symptoms of eye disease to occur to make an appointment with an optometrist. Schedule exams annually, or sooner if you notice any changes in vision.