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diabetic retinopathy

Learn the risks and stay informed!

As we step into November - a season of gratitude and thanks - we want to express our deep appreciation to you for trusting us with your eyes and giving us the opportunity to provide you with all your eyecare needs.

November also happens to be Diabetes Awareness Month and the 14th is we wanted to share with you some staggering statistics and advice on how to care for our eyes better.

NEHEP infographic

World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

Nearly 1 in 8 – or 30 million – Americans have diabetes, including 1 in 4 adults over age 65. Another 84 million – 1 in 3 – Americans have prediabetes and are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within a few years if they do not treat it.

Diabetes is not only widespread, but leads to important consequences.

It costs over $327 billion each year in medical costs and lost productivity.

It is the seventh-leading cause of death and a contributing factor in other leading causes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Other complications can include neuropathy, blindness, and amputations.

To evaluate your risk of developing diabetes take this online test

In diabetic eye disease, high blood glucose and high blood pressure cause small blood vessels to swell and leak liquid into the retina of the eye, blurring the vision and sometimes leading to blindness.

About one in three people with diabetes who are older than age 40 already have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. Each person’s outlook for the future, however, depends in large part on regular care. Finding and treating diabetic retinopathy early can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. Your chances of developing glaucoma or cataracts are about twice that of someone without diabetes. Here's our advice down to easy steps for all of us:

  1. Get your EYE EXAM at least once a year! According to the CDC: Of the estimated 61 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. Regular eye care can have a life-changing impact on preserving the vision of millions of people.
  2. Take a BRISK walk everyday! For those of us with Diabetes: This helps to control blood glucose levels! For those of us with Pre-diabetes: A 30 minute walk can decrease our risk of converting over to diabetes by 58%.
  3. Get our routine physicals - knowing is the first step in effecting our outcomes and caring for our health!

Top image courtesy Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash