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Lack of Awareness of Eye Health Risk Associated with Diabetes Poses Blinding Threat to Millions
Date:4/1/2009

Eyecare Professionals Advise Diabetics on How to Minimize That Risk

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization reports that 366 million cases of diabetes are projected by 2030, raising concerns among eyecare professionals globally because of the risk posed to healthy sight by diabetes. Additionally, recent consumer research conducted by Transitions Optical, Inc. reveals a dangerous lack of awareness about these eye health risks, with less than 40 percent of the population surveyed correctly identifying vision issues as possible complications of diabetes.

In this survey, the majority of diabetics queried were similarly unaware of the risks of vision-compromising direct and indirect effects of diabetes on the eyes, despite the fact that diabetes is currently recognized as the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20-74. The research also reveals that there is a higher incidence of diabetes among minority groups. Both African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes and their lack of awareness is equally low.

"Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Aside from its direct effects in decreasing visual acuity and causing blindness, diabetes can also significantly impact quality of vision by reducing contrast sensitivity and accentuating glare," says Dr. Susan Stenson, ophthalmologist and global medical director at Transitions Optical. "While the major recognized direct ocular complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, diabetes also appears to increase susceptibility to a number of common vision-threatening diseases, such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Furthermore, diabetics may be at a higher risk for the development of UVR-related ocular diseases," she added.

According to Dr. Stenson, certain medications taken by diabetics can complicate the vision picture even mor
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SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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