November 2015: Diabetes Awareness Month

The chances are that you know a relative, friend, or colleague who is impacted by diabetes.  More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 4 are undiagnosed.  It is also one of the most common childhood diseases in school aged children.  Diabetes can have a significant impact on the eyes with vision loss and blindness a potential complication.  As an eye care provider, we work with your doctors to evaluate and help manage the effects of diabetes so we can minimize the complications.  Eye exams are a crucial component of diabetes management.  Please keep these tips in mind when it comes to diabetes and your eyes:

  • Children diagnosed with diabetes should have their eyes dilated when they are 10 yrs old and have had diabetes for 3-5 yrs
  • Adults with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam at the time of diagnosis and annually thereafter
  • try to keep your blood sugars under tight control.  People who kept tight control of their blood sugars were 4x less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy
  • manage your ABCs: blood sugars (A1C), blood pressure, cholesterol, and stop smoking

There may not be any noticeable problems with your eyes when you develop diabetic retinopathy.  This is why an annual eye exam is so crucial to maintain the health of your eyes.  Let's work together to keep good vision and healthy eyes.  Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, now is a great time to spread the word and share this information with your friends and family.