Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of vision loss. It’s estimated that 45% of individuals with diabetes already have some form of eye disease, yet most do not schedule annual, sight-saving exams according to a large study.
Florida Eye Institute emphasizes the importance of healthy vision this November, nationally recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month.
Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions that includes 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 discovered that more than half of those with diabetes skip annual eye exams. Smokers were most likely to neglect check-ups and consequently show signs of diabetic eye disease. Other findings include:
- Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular eye exams
- Smokers were 20 percent less likelyto have exams
- Those with moderate disease and no current vision loss were least likely to follow recommendations
- Those diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to maintain annual check-ups.
“The bottom line is – if you have Diabetes get a retina eye exam every year,” confirms Dr. Thomas Baudo, fellowship trained retina specialist with Florida Eye Institute.
“Regular exams often reveal hidden signs of disease that allow us to begin treatment early. Don’t risk vision loss,” he emphasizes. “Ophthalmologists are an important member of your health care team and it costs no more to see a retina specialist than 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 laser vision correction.
To register for upcoming seminars, call 772.500.2020 or visit www.fleye.com.