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American Academy of Ophthalmology Program Stresses Need For Annual Diabetic Eye Exams

November 3, 2009

“Diabetes can have a devastating impact on vision, but the good news is that regular dilated eye exams by an ophthalmologist and timely treatment, if needed, can save vision for the vast majority of diabetics,” said David W. Parke II, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the Academy. “That is why we’re urging people with diabetes to get EyeCommitted. By taking charge of their eye health, Americans can greatly reduce their risk of losing their sight from diabetes.” The reality is that more than half of all people living with diabetes do not get the recommended annual dilated eye exam. As the number of people with Type 2 diabetes rises in the US, the CDC projects that the number of adults with diabetic retinopathy will double by the year 2050. Yet 90 percent of diabetic eye disease can be prevented simply by proper regular examinations and treatment and by controlling blood sugar. The EyeCommitted campaign comes at a time when there is a documented rise in Type 2 diabetes rates among Americans. An estimated 23.6 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, but nearly one quarter are unaware of it. African-Americans and people of Hispanic heritage are more likely to have diabetes. Detailed information about diabetic eye disease can be found on the EyeSmart Web site. To find an Eye MD in your area, visit www.GetEyeSmart.org. You can also submit questions about eye health to an ophthalmologist at http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/ask/