November is Diabetic Disease Awareness Month. Diabetes is a topic we don't take lightly in the eye-world because so many people are affected by the eye-related complications.
The number of Americans with diabetes is on a steady rise. Many patients are able to manage their diabetes through diet and exercise, while others might need more medical-management with their primary care doctor. You can decrease your odds of getting Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet low in carbohydrates and saturated fat, and regularly exercising.
It's scary to think that a good number of sight-threatening eye diseases have no early symptoms. Diabetic eye disease falls into that category. Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for diabetic eye disease. The longer a patient has diabetes, the greater the risk of eye disease. The damage can be permanent.
Often, it's your eye doctor who diagnoses diabetes due to the early signs that can present in your eyes. While dilated eye examinations are of importance, it does not take the place of yearly examinations with your primary care physician. Remember, preventative medicine is the best medicine and catching problems early makes it easier to manage.