Did you know that if you have diabetes you should be getting your eyes dilated every year?
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States! And it’s PREVENTABLE!
Diabetes occurs when there is a build-up of sugar in the bloodstream that begins to break down blood vessels throughout the whole body, including the eyes.
The eye is sometimes the first place in the body where diabetes and other health concerns can be detected. Diagnosing diabetes early can give patients a better chance at preventing permanent damage with early treatment. Diabetic eye disease is usually painless and often has NO symptoms until it’s very advanced.
The retina is the back part of the eye we use to see. The retina is also covered with small, delicate blood vessels. With uncontrolled diabetes, these vessels can sometimes leak blood and other fluids. If left untreated, this damage to the retinal tissues can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.
- About 90% of blindness caused by diabetes can be avoided by getting an annual eye exam!
- As many as 24,000 people lose their vision EACH YEAR to diabetes.
- Approximately 24 million Americans are diabetic and 54 million are pre-diabetic.
- 1 out of 3 people with diabetes haven’t been diagnosed yet.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:
- Spots, floaters or flashes.
- Dark spot in the center of your vision.
- Difficulty with night vision.
Risk factors for diabetes:
- Poor lifestyle habits: physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, obesity.
- Family history.
- Advanced age.
- History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
- Birth weight higher than 9lbs.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, here is what you can do to preserve your vision:
- Maintain healthy A1C and blood glucose numbers.
- Keep other health factors in check including your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Get a dilated eye exam every year.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
During your diabetic eye exam, you will have drops put in your eyes to widen your pupils so the doctor can take a look at the back of your eyes. The drops will make your eyes a little sensitive to light and blurry looking up close for a few hours.
Come on, Scotch Plains – Fanwood! Let’s keep our eyes healthy and get your annual dilations done! Schedule today!