Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Set Your Sight on Healthy Vision if You Have Diabetes

I've been asked to provide this information to my readers. The ways to prevent vision complications are truly just good health self-care, whether you have diabetes or not! Many of my Community Home Support clients have faced glaucoma. Prevention and cure are both important.

If you have diabetes, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. NEHEP also recommends you keep your health on track by—
•       Taking your medications.
•       Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
•       Adding physical activity to your day.
•       Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
•       Kicking the smoking habit.

These steps will help you keep your diabetes under control and help protect against diabetic eye disease.


Source: National Eye Health Education Program Special Collaboration


Set Your Sight on Healthy Vision if You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your doctors most likely have told you to keep your blood sugar under control through diet, exercise, and proper medication. But did you know that you also need a dilated eye exam at least once
Annual visits are important
for all ages!
a year? A dilated eye exam is when an eye care professional dilates, or widens, the pupil to check the retina in the back of the eye for signs of damage. All people with diabetes, type 1 and 2, are at risk for vision loss, but certain groups are at higher risk: African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Hispanics/Latinos.


The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk of diabetic eye disease, which includes the following:
•       Cataract (Clouding of the lens of the eye)
•       Diabetic Retinopathy (Damage to the retina)
•       Glaucoma (Damage to the optic nerve)

In November, when National Diabetes Month is observed in the United States, the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the National Eye Institute (NEI) recommends that all people who have diabetes reduce the risk of vision loss from the disease by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

“Half of all people with diabetes don’t get annual dilated eye exams. People need to know that about 95 percent of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented through early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up,” said Dr. Suber Huang, chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for NEHEP.

 In fact, diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in American adults ages 20–74. According to NEI, 7.7 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, and this number will likely increase to approximately 11 million people by 2030.

For more information on diabetic eye disease, financial assistance for eye care, and how you can maintain healthy vision, visit www.nei.nih.gov/diabetes.

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