Eyecare Medical Group highlights this time to acknowledge that Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetes affects more than 25 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. There are some 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy and thus are at risk for vision loss if not properly cared for. Although there is no cure for diabeticeye disease or diabetic retinopathy, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness 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.
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 Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroupto schedule an appointment.