Novem­ber de­clared Pre­vent Blind­ness Month, fo­cus on in­crease in di­a­betic eye dis­ease

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE -

The num­ber of di­a­betes and pre-di­a­betes cases con­tin­ues to climb. And with that, so does the num­ber of cases of di­a­betic eye dis­ease.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study from Pre­vent Blind­ness, the es­ti­mated num­ber of di­a­betic retinopa­thy cases in 2014 is cur­rently more than 8 mil­lion and pro­jected to in­crease to close to 11 mil­lion by 2032.

Di­a­betes is the lead­ing cause of blind­ness in the United States. Early symp­toms may in­clude blurred vi­sion; fluc­tu­a­tion in the clar­ity of vi­sion; sud­den loss of vi­sion, specif­i­cally fol­low­ing cough­ing or sneez­ing; and see­ing float- ers or “cob­webs” in the field of vi­sion. Di­a­bet­ics are 40 per­cent more likely to de­velop glau­coma and 60 per­cent more likely to de­velop cataracts than those with­out di­a­betes. Early de­tec­tion and treat­ment of di­a­betes can help pre­vent vi­sion im­pair­ment and blind­ness.

In a re­cent survey, one in five adults re­ported know­ing some­one who has ei­ther lost sight or is cur­rently los­ing their eye­sight to di­a­betes. This survey was con­ducted on­line within the United States on be­half of Pre­vent Blind­ness on Sept. 23, 2014 among 1000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

“We all know that con­trol­ling or pre­vent­ing di­a­betes through healthy liv­ing is a good idea,” said Hugh R. Parry, pres­i­dent and CEO of Pre­vent Blind­ness. “Peo­ple also should be aware that a healthy life­style could save your vi­sion.”

Pre­vent Blind­ness has de­clared Novem­ber as Di­a­betic Eye Dis­ease Aware­ness Month to help ed­u­cate the pub­lic on di­a­betes preven­tion strate­gies, po­ten­tial risk fac­tors, treat­ment op­tions and Medi­care cov­er­age poli­cies.

As part of the ef­forts, Pre­vent Blind­ness warns the pub­lic against the “7 DED-ly Sins” of di­a­betic eye dis­ease (DED) in­clud­ing:

Those with di­a­betes not vis­it­ing an eye doc­tor an­nu­ally

Not main­tain­ing healthy weight

De­creas­ing ac­tiv­ity

Fail­ing to mon­i­tor blood sugar lev­els

Not main­tain­ing healthy blood pres­sure Smoking Not get­ting a di­lated eye exam if you be­come or plan to be­come preg­nant

For more in­for­ma­tion on di­a­betic eye dis­ease, please call Pre­vent Blind­ness at (800) 331-2020 or visit pre­vent­blind­ness. org/di­a­betes.

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