Numerous people in the United States are suffering from diabetes. And many of them state that their physician never told them that a possible side effect of diabetes is vision loss.
“Less than half of people with diabetes-related eye disease have been told about it, which means they're also missing out on treatment that could save their sight, U.S. researchers say,” according to Reuters.
Many studies were conducted to decipher how common it is for diabetes patients to experience vision loss. Reuters reports, “In nationwide surveys of adults with diabetic macular edema - a condition that can ultimately lead to blindness - just 45 percent of respondents said they had been informed by their doctor that diabetes had affected their eyes. Nearly 30 percent already had vision loss in the affected eye.”
One physician who led a study at John’s Hopkins told Reuters, “It's important to catch the signs of diabetic macular edema (DME) early because it can be treated. Diabetes commonly causes DME, which is a thickening of the eye's retina. That change can be detected in an eye exam that includes dilation of the pupils. Left untreated, DME is likely to cause progressive vision loss. Degeneration of the retina in people with diabetes, known as diabetic retinopathy - which is often caused by DME - is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., Bressler and his colleagues write in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.”
Reuters reports, “Many U.S. medical authorities recommend annual eye checks for diabetics to monitor early signs of vision problems, but many people with diabetes do not get the proper type or frequency of eye care.” One physician who was not involved in the study told Reuters, “This study is very important as it shows that many diabetics are not aware of potential or actual real risk to their eyesight from diabetic retinopathy. Treatment for DMA "typically involves injections of biologics into the middle cavity of the eye that in most cases cause resolution of the swelling with prevention of vision loss in about 90 to 95 percent of cases, and improvement in vision in about 50 percent of cases when the edema involves the center of the retina and is causing vision impairment.”