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November: Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

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The American Academy of Ophthalmology designates November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, aiming to raise awareness about the condition. With over 37 million individuals living with diabetes, its impact extends beyond general health, affecting vision and overall eye health. Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 18. Unfortunately, many with diabetes are unaware of the risk of potential vision loss. At Bay State Eye Associates, we are committed to supporting this cause and providing vital information to help safeguard the vision of our community members with diabetes.

Diabetic eye disease can be difficult to identify in early stages, because early symptoms often go unnoticed. Diabetic Eye Disease encompasses a range of ocular conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. These conditions can develop or worsen due to the high levels of sugar in the blood, which can adversely affect the delicate blood vessels in the eyes.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina. Over time, these damaged vessels can lead to vision problems or even blindness. Cataracts, refers to a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye, which affects vision. As the lens becomes cloudier, it obstructs the passage of light to the retina, which can lead to blurred or dimmed vision. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, a crucial component for good vision. It often arises from increased pressure within the eye, leading to progressive and irreversible vision loss.

At Bay State Eye Associates, we understand the unique eye care needs of individuals living with diabetes. One of the most effective ways to combat diabetic eye disease is through regular eye examinations. These exams allow our eye care professionals to monitor any changes in the eyes, detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy, and implement interventions. Through Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, we aim to emphasize the importance of scheduling routine eye exams, especially for those living with diabetes.