Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age in the United States. This is clearly related to the continuing surge in the number of additional cases of diabetes diagnosed each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects more than 26 million people in the United States and although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease and prevent vision loss.
Vision Loss from Diabetes Can Be Prevented The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. The abnormal blood vessel leakage and growth can be treated with a range of options including diabetic laser treatment, but preferably injections of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor drugs such as Lucentis® and Eylea®. Patients have an important role to play and still have a way to go. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year.
As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.
In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising.
If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, and is conveniently located for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.