The CDC recently estimated that 37.3 million people (or 11.3% of the U.S. population) have diabetes, and over 23% of these individuals have not yet been diagnosed! Among those aged 65 years or older, approximately 48.8% have “pre-diabetes,” which puts them at risk for future development of diabetes.
The three most common eye conditions leading to loss of vision are:
2.) Diabetes-Related Retinopathy, and
Unfortunately, diabetes can play a role in the development of all three of these.
Comprehensive, annual eye exams are especially important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. During your diabetic eye exam, your doctor will dilate your pupils to perform a dilated fundus exam, which allows for high-resolution examination of the retina – a critical area for your vision, and the area where diabetes is most likely to affect. Based on these findings, other photos or tests may be needed during your visit.
The results of this examination can be sent to your primary care provider or endocrinologist taking care of your diabetes, as this can help guide your treatment plan with them. If your eye doctor does find evidence of diabetic retinopathy or other diabetic eye disease, you may need to see a retinal specialist for further specialized treatment necessary for improvement and/or protection of your vision.
The bottom line is that diabetes is very common, and prevention is key! Here at Loh Ophthalmology, it would be our honor to assist with this important part of your eye health. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, call us to schedule a diabetic eye exam.
For further information, here is a short informative video and an article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology regarding Diabetic Retinopathy.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report website. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html. Accessed 9 Nov 2023.
Image Credit #1 and #3: https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/glaucoma-infographics-gm1050146266-280819350
Image Credit #2: https://asgeyehospital.com/diabetic-retinopathy