You may know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, but did you know that November is also Diabetic Eye Disease Month?
People with diabetes can also develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is a complication of diabetes that is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in working age Americans, and it occurs in more than half the people who develop diabetes. Early stages of diabetic retinopathy can be damaging without causing any symptoms. Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is why doctors recommend diabetics have a yearly, dilated eye exam within a year of being diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of age. People living with diabetes should also be aware of possible symptoms.
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty reading
- The appearance of spots or “floaters” in your vision
- A shadow across the field of vision
- Eye pain or pressure
- Difficulty with color perception
Regular eye exams by an eye doctor are important for everyone, but especially for those who are at a higher risk for diabetic retinopathy or diabetes. The earlier a problem is detected, the sooner treatment can begin to prevent vision loss.
Information courtesy of The Foundation of the American Society of Retina Specialists.
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