Diabetic Eye Disease
Facts about diabetic eye disease
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide, and, in the United States, it is the most common cause of blindness in people younger than 65 years of age.
- Diabetic eye disease also encompasses a wide range of other eye problems, for example,
Diabetes may cause a reversible, temporary blurring of the vision, or it can cause a severe, permanent loss of vision.
Diabetes increases the risk of developing
- Some people may not even realize they have had diabetes for several years until they begin to experience problems with their eyes or vision.
- Diabetes also may result in
kidney failure, and circulatory abnormalities of the legs.
- The American Diabetes Association estimates that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes,
and 8.1 million people additional people went undiagnosed. (This population is unaware that
they have diabetes.)
- In the United States 1.2 million new cases of diabetes
are diagnosed every year.
- In the US in 2012, the total annual cost of diagnosed diabetes was 2.45
- Eighty-six million people in the US have prediabetes, and 9 out of every 10 don't know they have it. Of the 86 million people with prediabetes, without lifestyle changes 15% to 30% of them will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.
- Lifestyle management has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type
2 diabetes and prediabetes by at least two-thirds. It can also slow or halt the progression of prediabetes to diabetes.
People can try to avoid the problems associated with diabetes, including those that affect the eyes, by taking appropriate care of themselves by the following:
- Maintain a normal level of weight
- Watch your
diet, especially limiting unhealthy types of
fats and substituting complex carbohydrates for simple carbohydrates.
- Participate in an
Try to exercise for least 30 minutes, five days a week or more. There
are many ways to accomplish this without any expense. Go for a walk
after lunch or dinner, ride bikes with the kids, plan an activity with a
partner or friend, or rent an exercise DVD. Always check with your
health-care professional before starting any exercise program.
- Don't smoke or quit if you do.
- If you or someone you know has already been diagnosed with diabetes, the following steps also
should be taken:
- Monitor blood sugars and
glycosylated hemoglobin as recommended by your doctor.
- Take diabetes medications as prescribed.
- Severe diabetic eye disease most commonly develops in people who have had diabetes for many years, and who have had little or poor control of their blood sugars over that period of time.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/13/2016
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