Diabetes is a disease that affects 1 in 12 Americans, affecting more than 30 million adults and children nationwide. 86 million Americans are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has created American Diabetes Month in an attempt to stop the rise of diabetes diagnosis in America. The theme of this year’s Diabetes Month is the America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes educational campaign, which aims to provide healthy food choices to Americans with or at risk for diabetes. They also aim to educate people on how to get and stay active!
We wanted to take this opportunity to share some information on diabetes and eye care. Diabetes and eye health go hand in hand; unfortunately, diabetes is the #1 cause of vision loss in people under 74 years of age. Eye doctors are often the first to see and report signs of diabetes and get patients the preventative care they need to stay healthy and to keep their vision. When you see Dr. Mila, your comprehensive eye exam complete with dilation screens you for early warning signs of this disease, as well as other conditions like cataract, glaucoma, and retinopathy. If signs of pre diabetes are caught, optometrists work closely with primary care doctors and others who manage your health to create a treatment plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
Some early symptoms of diabetic eye or vision disorders are: sudden blurred or double vision, trouble reading or focusing, eye pains or pressures, dark rings around lights, or visible dark spots in images of light. If you are experiencing any of these ongoing symptoms, make sure you visit the eye doctor as soon as you can!
Things you can do if you may be at risk for diabetes:
- Annual comprehensive eye exams with dilation
- Annual blood work at your primary care physician
- Keep a healthy and balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Control high blood pressure
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
Find out more about Diabetes & Eye Health from the American Optometric Association here.
Read about American Diabetes Association’s American Diabetes month here.
Make a donation to the ADA’s America Gets Cooking campaign here.