AOA annual survey reveals truths about diabetes, related eye diseases
Currently, diabetes is a major cause of blindness. Unfortunately, diabetes and blindness have continued to increase. By the year 2040, health experts estimate that one out of every 10 people around the world will have blindness from diabetes.
Even though this health condition is prevalent, approximately 79 percent of Americans are clueless about diabetic eye diseases, which don’t have any visible symptoms. Additionally, over half of Americans also don’t know that comprehensive eye exams can find diabetes.
"In 2014 alone, 240,000 patients were diagnosed with diabetes in an eye doctor's office," Dr. Andrea Thau, AOA president, said. "A comprehensive eye examination with a doctor of optometry is important not just to maintain eye and vision health but can be a first line of diagnosis for many systemic diseases."
The main way to detect diabetes and related eye conditions is through dialysis.
"When the eyes are dilated, an eye doctor is able to examine the retina for signs of diabetic eye disease and prescribe a course of treatment to help preserve an individual's sight," Thau said. "Many eye problems show no symptoms until they are in an advanced stage, but early detection and treatment can truly save a person's vision. No online app can do that."
Organizations in this story
American Optometric Association 243 N Lindbergh Blvd Creve Coeur, MO 63141-7851