More than half of all Americans with diabetes are not getting recommended eye exam; EyeSmart: EyeCommitted social media campaign seeks to reduce the largest cause of preventable blindness among working-age Americans
Durham, NC (PRWEB) December 10, 2009 -- Diabetes causes more new cases of legal blindness among working-age Americans than any other disease. If diabetics are monitored regularly by their ophthalmologist, this vision loss is almost always avoidable. Yet, tragically, 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 U.S., 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.
Daniel Simon, MD with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) through its EyeSmart™ campaign to remind the public that an annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes. To promote awareness of the need for an annual eye exam, Daniel Simon, MD and the Academy, along with its partners the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society and the Retina Society, are promoting EyeSmart: EyeCommitted, a social media campaign to encourage people with diabetes to pledge to get an annual eye exam.
“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 Dr. Simon. “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 EyeCommitted campaign comes at a time when there is a documented rise in Type 2 diabetes rates among Americans, particularly among the young. 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.
“As ophthalmologists, we are concerned that the trend toward younger age at diagnosis will mean that people will have to manage their eye health closely for decades, including through their peak work years,” said Dr. Simon “That’s why it is critical for people with Type 2 diabetes to get an eye exam as soon after their diagnosis as possible and then annually thereafter.” For people with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, the Academy recommends that the first dilated eye exam should take place within three to five years of initial diagnosis and then annually thereafter.
About North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat
North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose, & Throat was founded in 1914. Formerly McPherson Hospital, North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat has been a leader in providing Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology care for the community as well as being active in medical research and the training of new physicians. Since 1914 more than one million patients have trusted McPherson Hospital and North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat for their Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology care.
For more information, please visit http://www.nceent.com, or call (919) 287-3443
About Daniel Simon, MD
Dr. Simon is a board certified comprehensive ophthalmologist specializing in diabetes, cataract surgery, glaucoma care and ocular surface disease. Dr. Simon comes to North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat after three years in private practice in Charlotte. He practices full-time at 5726 Fayetteville Road, Durham, NC.
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