Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in America today, which is why the American Diabetic Association recommends a comprehensive eye exam every year by your eye care provider.
Some examples of the changes that we see are bleeding and leaking from the small blood vessels in the retina as well as changes to your eyeglass prescription, both caused by uncontrolled blood- sugar levels. Many times it is your eye doctor who first uncovers the signs that ultimately lead to the diagnosis of diabetes.
According to a new report from the CDC, the number of cases of diabetes may triple by the year 2050, to the point where 1 in 3 Americans will have the disease. This is mainly fueled by:
1. An aging population – The number of adults ages 65 and older are expected to climb from 38.7 million in 2008 to 88.5 million by 2050. Also, a confounding factor is that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in younger people, especially adolescents. This group was rarely affected in the past, but lifestyle factors like obesity and a lack of exercise are mostly to blame for the increase.
2. Minority populations are increasing – African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian-Americans have the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes. African-Americans, for example, are twice as likely to be diagnosed as non-Hispanic whites. They’re also more likely to suffer complications.
3. People with diabetes are living longer - This is mostly due to better medical care. Public health campaigns and greater emphasis on diabetes education have also likely contributed. With more awareness and better care, the number of undiagnosed cases has also fallen.
Diabetes is a life-altering disease. It is important that you take it seriously and always follow your doctor’s recommendations. Our office is here to help in any way we can, from simple discussions about the effects of diabetes to an in depth examinations of your retina. We are here for you today and into the future.
This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care Center. Please call or contact our office for more information.