It’s National Diabetes Month – Are you at risk for serious eye disease?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease.
Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease.

Did you know that 95% of diabetes-related vision loss could be prevented with a regular eye exam?

Diabetes increases the risk of developing serious eye disease, yet most people do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognizing the importance of eye health this November, observed nationally as Diabetes Awareness Month.

One in 10 Americans has diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment. Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions that include retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. Fluctuating blood sugar creates fragile, abnormal blood vessels that grow and leak within the eye, distorting vision. Distortions can advance to blindness if left untreated.

Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia found that more than half of patients with the Diabetes skip annual eye exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and therefore more likely to have signs of diabetic eye disease – were most likely to neglect to have annual check-ups.

Collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers reviewed charts of nearly 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams. Their findings over a four-year period revealed that:

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams
  • Those with less severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams

“The bottom line is – if you have Diabetes you need a retina eye exam every year,” states Thomas Baudo, MD, fellowship trained retina specialist with Florida Eye Institute.

“Eye exams are critical as they often reveal hidden signs of disease, and that allows us to begin treatment early,” he emphasizes. “Patients are also pleased to discover that a baseline exam with a retina specialist costs no more than any other type of eye care professional.”

Looking for a Good Eye Doctor?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease as well as advanced procedures for cataract, glaucoma, and corneal conditions.   Comprehensive care is available for the entire family, including designer eyewear and the latest bladeless laser vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover an annual exam with an ophthalmologist. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

 

Four Tips for ‘Grade A’ Vision This School Year

Vision Screening for Kids
When should children have their vision checked?

With back-to-school just around the corner, parents are scrambling to get their children ‘classroom’ ready. As they tick off long lists of school supplies and check-ups, ophthalmologists remind busy moms and dads to take care of one very important learning tool: their children’s eyes.

Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning and academic success. Florida Eye Institute joins with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to emphasize the importance of healthy vision during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month this August.

Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier problems are identified; the sooner they can be addressed. For healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, Florida Eye Institute and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the following four tips:

  1. Get regular childhood vision screenings – Children’s eyes change rapidly, regular vision screening is an important step to detect and correct eye problems early. In addition to screenings for infants, the Academy recommends further vision screening for children as follows:
    • Pre-school age, between age 3 – 3 1/2
    • When entering school
    • When experiencing a possible vision problem

For school-age children, a vision screening, which is less comprehensive than a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist, can be performed by a pediatrician, family physician, nurse or trained technician during regular checkups. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist — an eye physician and surgeon – or other eye care professional.

  1. Know and share your family eye health history – Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss in one eye.
  2. Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.
  3. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear.

Visit the Academy of Ophthalmology to learn more about common childhood eye conditions and Florida Eye Institute for expert eye care. 

Looking for a good eye doctor? Florida Eye Institute specializes in the advanced treatment of retina, cataract, glaucoma, and corneal disease. You’ll find complete eye care for the entire family, including the latest bladeless LASIK vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute