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Diabetes: A Top Cause of Blindness Among Adults
Date:11/1/2007

The American Optometric Association reminds patients about the importance

of comprehensive eye exams during November's National Diabetes Month

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey by the American Optometric Association (AOA), revealed that Americans aren't taking their eye health as seriously as they should, particularly when it comes to protecting their eyes from the potentially blinding effects of diabetes and diabetic eye disease.

According to the AOA's 2007 American Eye-Q(R) survey, more than 60 percent of adults know that diabetes is detectable through a comprehensive eye exam. However, only 32 percent of adults who do not wear glasses or contacts, have seen a doctor of optometry in the past two years. The annual American Eye-Q(R) survey identifies attitudes and behaviors of Americans regarding eye care and related issues.

With nearly two-thirds of adults not receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams, millions of Americans are not only putting their vision, but also their health, at risk. In fact, diabetes is a top cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

"More than 21 million Americans have diabetes, and perhaps of even greater concern, more than 6 million Americans are unaware that they have the disease," said Dr. Jorge Cuadros, AOA's Diabetes Eye Care Expert and University of California School of Optometry professor. "In addition to overall health complications, diabetes can cause vision changes and ultimately lead to blindness."

Optometrists can serve as the first line of detection for diabetes, since the eye is the only place on the body that blood vessels can be seen without having to look through the skin. All individuals with known diabetes need to have dilated eye exams each year; despite the fact that only four out of ten Americans recognize that diabetic patients should have their vision checked annually, according to the 2007 American Eye-Q(R).

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SOURCE American Optometric Association (AOA)
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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