November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, a time to increase awareness of diabetes and the impact it can have on the eyes. People who have diabetes are encouraged to see an eye specialist in Brooklyn NY to keep on top of vision problems related to diabetes. As cases of diabetes increase, more people are suffering from permanent vision loss. The best way to protect the eyes is by managing diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise.
Below you’ll find more information about Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month and the most important things to know.
Diabetes Leading Cause of New Blindness Cases
According to Prevent Blindness America, diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss cases in the U.S. People with the condition are at an increased risk for cataracts, retinopathy, macular edema, vision loss and blindness.
The reason why diabetes affects the eyes has to do with the blood vessels. People who have diabetes have high blood sugar levels. As a result, the blood vessels narrow and cause high blood pressure. The blood vessels near the eyes may also be affected, causing leaking, bleeding or damage to the retina.
Different Types of Diabetic Eye Disease
People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts and glaucoma compared to the general population. However, the biggest concern is diabetic retinopathy, a vision problem that is responsible for the most new cases of blindness and low vision in adults ages 20-65.
Here is more information on diabetic retinopathy, and another vision problem, diabetic macular edema.
-Diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is a term used to describe damage to the retina. In the case of diabetic retinopathy, eye damage occurs to the small blood vessels that nourish the tissues and nerve cells. Common symptoms include leaking blood vessels, vision problems and retinal detachment.
-Diabetic macular edema (DME). DME occurs when the retinal blood vessels leak into the macula, or center of the eye. The leakage causes the macula to thicken and swell, causing central vision problems.
Importance of Diabetic Eye Exams
If you have diabetes, it’s incredibly important to visit your eye doctor in Brooklyn NY regularly. For type 2 diabetes patients, this is usually once a year. A qualified ophthalmologist will perform a thorough exam that includes:
-Health and medication history
-Eye health evaluation
-Visual acuity testing
-Visual field testing
If you or a loved one has diabetes, be sure to have an ophthalmologist in Brooklyn NY that you trust. This condition can affect the eyes, so you want to be in front of the symptoms. For more information about Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, check out the various resources available for free at preventblindness.org.