BUSINESS: The Independent Eye ECPs Promote Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month By Stephanie Sengwe Friday, November 16, 2018 11:47 AM November is Diabetes Eye Health Month and according to a recent Prevent Blindness study, Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, more than 8.1 million Americans suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This projected total will increase to 10.9 million by 2032, and 13.2 million by 2050, the study said. Diabetic retinopathy patients are on average of 66 years old, which is the youngest of all the leading eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration.The National Eye Institute reports that diabetic eye disease can cause as many as 25,000 new cases of blindness every year and that all people with diabetes are at risk for vision loss and blindness from diabetic eye disease. African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, and older adults with diabetes are especially at higher risk. Friends for Sight—a nonprofit organization that aims to save sight and change lives through free vision screenings, educating eye safety, threats to vision promoting awareness of available community resources—reports that while treatments are available, they are significantly more effective when the disease is detected early. A comprehensive eye examination by an eyecare professional should be completed every year. In addition to yearly eye exams, those with diabetes must control their blood sugar levels, get plenty of exercise, eat a healthy well-balanced diet and take medications as directed.In an effort to promote awareness, ECPs have once again taken to social media to educate patients about Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. With November 14 as World Diabetes Day, ECPs’ posts stressed the importance of dietary changes, controlling blood sugar levels and of course, doctor’s visits. Check out a small compilation of some posts about diabetes awareness on social media.