November is American Diabetes Month. According to www.diabetes.org, approximately 26 million Americans are living with diabetes. Furthermore, it is estimated that one in three American adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. Diabetes can be a devestating disease leading to kidney failure, stroke, limb amputation and a host of other health problems.
In addition, diabetes can have a profound effect on the eyes. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness cases in the United States. It can cause an instable glasses prescription, early cataract formation and poor corneal wound healing. It can also cause changes to blood vessels inside the eye. These changes are called diabetic retinopathy and include leaking blood vessels, formation of new weaker blood vessels (neovascularization) and retinal swelling. In advanced diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and blindness can occur.
As bleak as this sounds, there is hope. Ocular complications are much less likely to happen if blood sugar levels are properly controlled. Diet, excercise and compliance with medications are crucial in preventing diabetic eye disease. In addition, early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy often prevent more severe forms of retinopathy. Our doctors recommend annual eye health evaluations including retinal examination. More frequent monitoring may be necessary for patients exhibiting retinopathy.
At the Optical Boutique, we are committed to the ocular well-being of our patients with diabetes. We look forward to working with you and your care team to maintain the health of your eyes. So, let's celebrate American Diabetes Month by scheduling your comprehensive eye health evaluation.