Nov. 9, 2016
Prevent Blindness has declared November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month to help educate the public on the effects of diabetes on vision, types of diabetic eye disease, risk factors and treatment options.
Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free resources dedicated to the education of diabetic eye disease including its web site, preventblindness.org/diabetes, and its free “Healthy Eyes Educational Series, Adult Vision Problems Module,” which can be found HERE.
According to a study conducted by Prevent Blindness, more than eight million Americans have diabetic retinopathy, with that number expected to jump in the coming years. The study—The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems—also projected extremely high growth in diabetic retinopathy cases for Hispanic populations. Currently, 67 percent of cases are among whites and 17 percent are among Hispanics, however, projections suggest that by 2050, 45 percent of diabetic retinopathy patients will be white and 35 percent will be Hispanic.
The diabetic eye disease group includes diabetic retinopathy, which is caused by damage to the small blood vessels of the retina; and diabetic macular edema (DME), a complication of diabetes caused by fluid accumulation in the macula that can affect the fovea. Diabetic eye disease also includes cataracts and glaucoma.