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The Diabetic Eye

Are you aware that being diabetic puts you at risk for vision threatening eye damage? A recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicates that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in individuals aged 20 to 74 years old. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye, which is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is one of the most serious complications of the disease and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy often presents no noticeable symptoms. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels builds up they begin to leak causing permanent damage to the retina. This damage will result in eventual blindness if it is not treated.

Since symptoms are often not noticed until it is too late it is important to book an annual diabetic eye exam if you are diabetic. Warning signs of developing diabetic retinopathy include any kind of vision problems such as fluctuations, spots, shadows, double or blurred vision or pain. In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetics are at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.

The risk of diabetic eye disease is higher when glucose levels are uncontrolled. Monitoring your sugar levels through diet, exercise and staying healthy and annual eye exams is the best defense for keeping your eyes healthy.

This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic eye disease and speak to your eye doctor to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, ignorance could cost you your vision

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