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Be Aware During National Diabetes Month

Did you know that being diabetic increases your chances of vision loss? A recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicates that diabetes is the primary cause of complete vision loss among adults between 20 and 74. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes severe vision impairment and even blindness. Anyone with the disease is at risk and it has affected over 3.7 million people in America since 2002.

In its early stages, this condition often presents no noticeable symptoms. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels builds up they start to leak resulting in retinal damage. This damage will result in eventual blindness if it is not treated.

If you have diabetes and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye make an appointment with your eye doctor. Cataracts and glaucoma are also more common in individuals with diabetes than in the average population.

All diabetic eye diseases are more damaging when glucose levels are uncontrolled. Carefully monitoring your diabetes through diet, exercise and staying healthy and yearly eye exams is the best defense for preserving your eye sight.

This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic retinopathy and speak to your optometrist if you have any questions. In this case, knowledge really is the key to healthy vision.