Shedding Light on Diabetic Eye Disease and its Impact on Your Vision

by Janet Kelley

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a staggering 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, with an additional 88 million adults having pre-diabetes, making it a significant public health concern.

Diabetes is also the leading cause of new cases of adult blindness. Diabetic eye diseases include retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma, posing a severe risk to individuals with diabetes.

Despite the prevalence of this issue, health disparities persist, particularly among minority populations, resulting in inadequate awareness.

This is why November is dedicated to raising awareness about Diabetic Eye Disease.

The Hawaiian Eye Center aims to provide essential information about diabetes and offer doctor-recommended advice to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to convert food into energy. When the body lacks insulin or has high blood sugar levels, it can lead to complications, especially in the eyes.

Risk factors for diabetic eye disease include pregnancy, tobacco use, and certain ethnicities like Black, Hispanic, and Native American.

To prevent vision loss, individuals with diabetes should undergo an annual dilated eye exam to check for signs of eye conditions associated with diabetes. Pregnant individuals with diabetes should have exams during and after pregnancy.

In addition to regular eye exams, maintaining good eye health with diabetes involves:

Monitoring and managing blood sugar levels
Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol
Following a healthy diet
Staying physically active
Quitting smoking and tobacco use
Regularly testing hemoglobin A1c and urine for ketone levels
Adhering to medication and insulin schedules

Remember, proper diabetes management and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent vision loss, enabling a fulfilling life without severe eye health complications. To learn more, please visit: www.hawaiianeye.com.

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