Comprehensive Eye Exams Important In Detecting Diabetes

Published 6:44 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

(NAPSI)—Here’s an eye-opening fact: With approximately 8.3 percent of the U.S. population affected by diabetes, it’s quickly becoming one of the most serious health issues currently facing both adults and children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds. Nevertheless, many people may not be aware that a comprehensive eye exam can often lead to early detection.

One of the potential symptoms of diabetes is blurred vision-and without proper health care, diabetes can result in the progression of more serious vision complications, such as diabetic retinopathy and related vision loss. The CDC also notes that approximately 11 percent of U.S. adults with diabetes have some sort of visual impairment, and diabetic retinopathy is projected to affect 16 million people with diabetes by the year 2050.

Rates of diabetes are even higher among certain ethnic minorities. Among African Americans, the prevalence of diabetes is more than 70 percent higher than it is among non-Hispanic whites, and the frequency of diabetic retinopathy is 50 percent higher, according to the American Diabetes Association. Hispanics experience diabetes at a rate of three times the general population and are more likely to develop the condition and related complications at an earlier age, says the Cleveland Clinic Department of Patient Education and Health Information. Asian Americans are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes, the Ohio State University Medical Center reports, which can lead to heightened vision-related damage from UV exposure, reduced contrast sensitivity and increased light sensitivity.

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Fortunately, there are steps you can take. Optometrist Dr. Brian Chou, of EyeLux Optometry in San Diego, points out the importance of proper eyecare and eyewear when managing diabetes. “There is no question that diabetes can lead to serious vision complications,” explains Dr. Chou. “Regular, comprehensive eye exams can help you to maintain healthy sight overall and can alert your eye doctor of any underlying signs of diabetes and other health issues. Adaptive lenses, such as Transitions lenses, can help prevent squinting, reduce glare and block 100 percent of UV rays—keeping your eyes protected from UV exposure.”

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