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The Truth About Diabetes and Visual Complications Unveiled

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Diabetes is the number one cause of all recent agents of blindness in the United States among patients 24 to 74 years of age, according to Transitions Optical's Healthy Sight Institute.  Although this metabolic disorder is mainly diagnosed by a primary healthcare provider like an internist, pediatrician or endocrinologist, an eyecare professional can also detect the ocular signs of the disease.

Diabetic patients may develop certain vision conditions because the eye is one of the principal organs affected by diabetes.  Educating patients about the importance of proper eyecare, like regular comprehensive eye exams and proper protective eyewear, can help prevent the development of vision-threatening complications.

"As in all areas of medicine, the key for preventing diabetic complications in the eye is early detection," explained Madeline L. Romeu, O.D., F.A.A.O.  "Diabetic patients are at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, cataract, age-related macular degeneration or open angle glaucoma, all of which are vision-threatening.  In fact, research shows that 23.5 percent of patients over the age of 50 will become vision impaired."

One of the recent trends for helping to prevent vision complications is identifying factors that may trigger the development of diabetes, such as race and ethnicity.  The incidence of diabetes is higher among various groups in the United States, including Hispanic/Latino Americans.  

"In the case of Hispanic/Latino Americans, there is an estimated 2.5 million adults, 20 years or older, with diabetes," said Dr. Romeu.  "This group is 1.7 times more likely to develop diabetes than non-Hispanic whites."

Aside from hereditary factors, there are a number of environmental factors that may lead to an increased risk of developing vision conditions.  Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the main factor associated with the development of retinal damage.  Quality and comfortable vision may also be affected by UVR, which can cause squinting and eye fatigue due to distracting glare.

"To prevent damage to the eyes and experience quality vision, diabetic patients should protect their eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing protective eyewear," said Manuel Solis, multicultural marketing manager, Transitions Optical.  "At Transitions Optical, we are committed to educating consumers about the proper steps to take in order to experience comfortable, quality vision.  We recommend that diabetic patients consider adaptive lenses, like Transitions® lenses, which automatically darken as light conditions change to reduce glare and block 100 percent of UV rays."

For more information about healthy sight and diabetes, visit  

About Transitions Optical, Inc.

Transitions Optical is a joint venture of PPG Industries, Inc. and Essilor International.  The first to successfully commercialize a plastic photochromic lens in 1990, today the company is a leading provider of photochromics to optical manufacturers worldwide.  Transitions Optical offers the most advanced photochromic technology in the widest selection of lens designs, materials and brand names.

Transitions® lenses are the ideal everyday choice for healthy sight.  They are clear indoors and at night.  Outdoors, they automatically darken as light conditions change.  Transitions lenses provide visual comfort, and enhance visual quality by reducing glare and enhancing contrast, helping you to see better today.  Transitions lenses block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays – helping to protect the health and wellness of your eyes – so you can see better tomorrow as well.

For more information about the company and Transitions lenses, the first to earn the American Optometric Association's Seal of Acceptance for Ultraviolet Absorbers/Blockers, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or (877) 254-2590 (Canada).

SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.
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