How To Prevent Blindness From Diabetes
Each year, more than 25,000 Americans become blind from diabetes. Fortunately, most blindness caused by diabetes can be prevented.
If you have the disease, knowing the following facts can help you preserve your vision. If you know someone who has diabetes, be a sight-saving friend and pass the message along. Here are some facts to improve your vision eye-Q from the National Eye Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health:
Across America, organizations are sponsoring educational activities during November, National Diabetes Month. If you have diabetes and haven't had a dilated-eye exam in the last year, make an appointment. If you don't have diabetes, encourage someone who does or is in one of the high-risk groups to get an exam. For more information about diabetic eye disease, call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES.(NAPSI)
- In 90 percent of all cases, early detection and well-timed laser treatment can prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease.
- Diabetic eye disease includes diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in the retina), cataract (clouding of the eye's lens) or glaucoma (increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision).
- Diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in American adults, has no warning signs. Nearly half of all people with diabetes develop some degree of diabetic retinopathy during their lifetime.
- The only sure way to detect diabetic eye disease is through a dilated eye exam at least once a year, to find out if you have an eye disease or need laser treatment.
- Anyone can develop diabetes but those with a family history are more likely to develop it.
- Diabetes is especially common in the Hispanic population, the fastest growing minority in the United States. African Americans also have a higher-than-average risk of diabetes and the blindness that may result from it.
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