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How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes and Vision

November 1, 2018

When was the last time you had your blood sugar levels tested? If you don’t even remember, it may be a good reason to visit your doctor. November is American Diabetes Month, and it’s the perfect time to raise awareness for the disease. Diabetes may lead to blindness and other serious complications that may be fatal is left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and vision:

Facts About Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes was responsible for a $90 billion loss in reduced productivity, and $237 billion in direct medical costs in 2017. It’s estimated that 9.4% of the US population had diabetes in 2015, which is equivalent to 30.3 million Americans.

What is more concerning, though, is that 7.2 million of those 30.3 million individuals are undiagnosed. Without treatment, these people are extremely vulnerable to the complications of diabetes, such as hypertension, kidney disease, eye problems, and stroke.

Diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death in approximately 80,000 death certificates issued in 2015, making the disease the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes and Vision

People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts and 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. People with cataracts develop blurry vision, similar to looking through a foggy mirror. According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 30 millions Americans are expected to develop cataracts by 2020. Usually, cataract surgery is very successful, and patients can regain vision.  

Glaucoma is a condition in which too much fluid pressure builds up inside the eye. High pressure in the eye can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Unfortunately, vision loss caused by glaucoma is permanent, which is why prevention is extremely important.  
We hope these facts and tips help you understand the role of prevention in fighting diabetes. If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes and eye health, don’t hesitate in contacting us through our website or by calling (903) 838-0783.