Monday, November 10, 2014

Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual dilated eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age with almost 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy, a potentially blinding eye problem.
Preventing Vision Loss from Diabetic Retinopathy
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, restricting alcohol consumption, 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 at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham is located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine ophthalmologists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D.