Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Eye Exams for Diabetic Problems Help Decrease Vision Loss

Having regular eye exams for diabeticeye problems is an important part of decreasing the risk of vision loss from diabetes. Diabetes affects more than 25 million people in the U.S. with some 8 million people ages 40 and older suffering from diabetic retinopathy- a leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease.

There is a dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases which appears to be a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that we are experiencing in the U.S. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time with Vascular Endothelial Growth Inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis® or Eyelea® and retinal laser treatment. The disturbing situation is that more than 30%of patients diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye DiseaseAwareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

Preventing Vision Loss from Diabetes
In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser to schedule an appointment for an eye exam.

Northwest Indiana Eye & LaserCenter offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.