Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults. This is a growing problem as the number of people living with diabetes increases, so does the number of people with impaired vision. Diabetes can cause a disease of the eye called diabetic retinopathy (DR). In its early stages, you may not notice any symptoms or changes to your eyesight, and you cannot tell that this condition is damaging your eyes. If it is not detected and treated in a timely manner, your vision can be damaged permanently. A recent study, conducted at Centers for Disease Control found that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was high, affecting almost one-third of adults over age 40 years with diabetes, and more than one-third of African-Americans and Mexican Americans.

If you or someone you know has diabetes there are important steps you can take to prevent vision loss including a) maintain good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure with diet, exercise and medications prescribed by your physician, b) having regular eye exams as recommended by your eye doctor. Depending on how long you have had diabetes and the health of your retina, your eye doctor may recommend specialized testing including scans and pictures in order to monitor changes that occur from diabetic retinopathy. Be sure to follow up on appointments and testing.

The key to preventing vision loss from diabetes and diabetic retinopathy is early detection, diagnosis and treatment if necessary. If you or someone you know has diabetes and not had a recent eye exam please schedule an appointment at The Eye Care & Surgery Center 908-789-8999, or visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or Facebook.

The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located in Westfield, Warren and Iselin NJ, an affiliate of Prism Vision Group.