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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
Did you know more than 25 million Americans are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes? Uncontrolled or long-standing diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels, especially the small vessels in the back of the eye. Retinopathy is when these fragile vessels begin to leak and cause a negative effect on your vision. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Severe vision loss can usually be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. To reduce your risk of visual complications from diabetes, remember your ABCs:
- A – A1C – Get your A1C checked at least twice a year and set a goal with your physician (typically < 7).
- B – Blood pressure – Monitor your blood pressure closely and keep it under 140/80.
- C – Cholesterol – Exercise and eat less saturated fat and trans fat – eat more fiber
If you have diabetes, our doctors recommend comprehensive eye examinations at least once a year. More frequent eye exams may be necessary if you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Your exam will include a thorough retinal evaluation with either dilation or Optomap photos. We work closely with your primary care physician or endocrinologist to keep them updated on your eye health.
Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision. Our doctors are proud to participate in National Diabetes Awareness Month to promote diabetes prevention and control. We are committed to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Be sure you and your family have had your eyes checked this year.