Diabetes and Related Eye Diseases

Those Living with Diabetes Are Three Times More Concerned about Losing Vision than Possible Side Effect of Kidney Failure

 More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and another 84 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults. As prevalent as the condition is, 79 percent of Americans don’t know diabetic eye diseases have no visible symptoms and more than half do not know comprehensive eye examinations can detect diabetes, according to a recent American Eye-Q® Survey conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA).

“In 2016, doctors of optometry identified diabetes-related manifestations in more than 320,000 patients who were unaware they had diabetes, leading to prompt diagnoses and care, which minimizes the risk of complications,” said Lindsey Clyde, O.D., an eye doctor at Valley Eyecare Center in Phoenix, AZ. “A comprehensive eye examination with a doctor of optometry is important not just to maintain eye and vision health but can be a first line of diagnosis for many systemic diseases.”

During November’s Diabetes Awareness Month, the AOA and Valley Eyecare Center are committed to educating the public about the relationship between diabetes and eye health, as the Eye-Q survey shows that after learning about the topic many participants said they would be prompted to take steps to ensure their eye health. The AOA advocates for regular, comprehensive eye exams for those with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, because the alternatives, like online vision apps, only check for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and cannot detect diabetes.

“During a comprehensive eye exam including Optomap scan, dilation, or both, your eye doctor is able to examine the retina for signs of diabetic eye disease and prescribe a course of treatment to help preserve an individual’s sight,” Dr. Lindsey Clyde said. “Many eye problems show no symptoms until they are in an advanced stage, but early detection and treatment can truly save a person’s vision. No online app can do that.”

For additional resources, visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/diabetic.htm.

To schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

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