November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Over 3.6 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from a diabetic eye disease, most commonly diabetic retinopathy. This is the leading cause of blindness for American adults and the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. It affects 28.5% of Americans with diabetes age 40 and older, which is more than 7 million people. The number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy is projected to increase by 50% by 2030. Of the 30 million Americans over the age of 20 who have diabetes, it is estimated that one out of every three is unaware that they have the condition, so please get a comprehensive eye exam annually whether you are experiencing any difficulties or not.The cause of vision loss is that the blood vessels in the retina are damaged or destroyed over time by the high blood glucose levels. This damage is irreversible but can be prevented in 95% of cases if caught in the early stages. Symptoms are often not detected until the condition has reached an advanced stage and include blurry or double vision and can include dark patches in your vision or floaters. If you have any of these signs please schedule an eye exam as soon as possible.