National Glaucoma Awareness Month – Do you have diabetes?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. You can recognize this special month by learning about your risk.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes then it’s important to pay extra attention to your vision. Recent studies show that those with diabetes are 25 times more likely to develop blindness and other eye diseases.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74. This is because elevated blood sugar damages retinal blood vessels, causing them to break down, leak or become blocked. Over time this can lead to retinopathy—a complication that causes blindness.

In addition to this condition, individuals with diabetes are also at an increased risk for glaucoma and cataracts.

People with diabetes who smoke, have poor nutrition, and do not control their condition have an even greater risk of developing eye complications. Because many people with diabetes have slower healing time, eye injuries—even minor corneal scratches—should not be taken lightly.

People with diabetes can maintain optimal vision and healthy eyes by having an annual comprehensive vision exam and living a healthy, active lifestyle.

For more information on diabetes and your eyes, talk with your doctor. You may also contact local diabetes educator by calling TIPDON, Northern Michigan’s Diabetes Outreach Network, at (800) 847-3665.

Thank you to TIPDON for providing this valuable information!