Risks of blindness from diabetes are on the rise and have been increasing. New research from Dr. Elizabeth Lundeen is showing that as more and more Americans get diabetes–this in turn, is going to increase the number of Pennsylvanians that are going to be at risk for blindness in the coming years.
Over 10 million Americans are at risk. Talking to your doctor about diabetic retinopathy is very important. Getting a dilated eye exam once a year, at the minimum, is also recommended.
Managing Eye Health and Diabetes Health in Pennsylvania
“This recent study clearly highlights the scary trend that is becoming a reality–more and more people are getting diabetes. And, this puts more and more people at risk for the many unpleasant side effects of diabetes.
This is especially true for our younger populations. If you have diabetes, you should know that your risk for blindness does go up; as does your risk for heart disease.
I tell my patients to make sure that they get a dilated eye exam. We keep a very close eye on your blood sugars and A1c levels. The better we manage your diabetes, the less likely you’re going to develop retinopathy and other issues that come from having diabetes” shared Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine.
The necessary steps to take if you have diabetes include: Keeping an eye on your A1C levels. Understand that diabetes can harm many parts and systems of your body, including your eyes. So diet, exercise and staying in touch with your doctor are crucial.
Diabetes can lead to strokes and heart disease. As indicated in prior Health Standard articles, it’s important to know your ASCVD score. This test can provide guidance on how to decrease your heart attack risks.
Living in Lancaster, the following health facts impact your well-being directly.
Did you know there were 4176.0 deaths from diabetes in Pennsylvania in 2021?
- 18.3% of individuals in Lancaster County smoke.
- 9.2% of individuals in Lancaster County have diabetes?
- 9.8% of individuals in Lancaster County feel that their health is not good.
All of these variables play an important role in your overall health and diabetic health care. [Health Standard Newswire: JAMA/Ophthalmology. June 2023.doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.2289]
What they’re saying: “Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common microvascular complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults in the US… This study used data from nationally representative and local population-based studies that represent the populations in which they were conducted. For 2021, the study team estimated 9.60 million people (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 7.90-11.55) living with DR, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 26.43% (95% UI, 21.95- 31.60) among people with diabetes. The study team estimated 1.84 million people (95% UI, 1.41-2.40) living with VTDR, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 5.06% (95% UI, 3.90-6.57) among people with diabetes. Prevalence of DR and VTDR varied by demographic characteristics and geography.” (Study Source)
Sources: JAM Ophthalmology published the findings: Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy in the US in 2021 per The Health Standard Newswire