Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 12 Americans has diabetes – that’s more than 25 million people – and another 79 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Each year, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people age 20 years and older. In Illinois, approximately 800,000 people 18 years of age and older have diagnosed diabetes, with another 500,000 people who are not aware that they have the disease.*
If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk. To help prevent type 2 diabetes:
• Watch your weight.
• Eat healthy.
• Get more active.
If you have diabetes, it is necessary to have an annual eye exam. Having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing glaucoma or cataracts, or even diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in America. For some people, the blood vessels in their eyes swell or leak. For others, abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina. Potentially, you won’t show any symptoms. This is why it is essential to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year to catch it early on, when it is much easier to treat.
*Source : Illinois Department of Public Health