Diabetes is a cure, cure disease that requires 24/7 monitoring to live a happy, healthy life. November is Diabetes Awareness Month.As a mom of two children with type 1 diabetes, every month, every day, every hour, every minute is diabetes awareness. Not only are we ‘aware’ that this unwelcomed guest is clogging up our homes and life but we are also spreading awareness, educating people along the way, and helping newly diagnosed diabetics and their families.
My son just wrote a college essay on how living with type 1 diabetes shoved him into growing up and being responsible for his health at the very young age of 9 and how that shaped him into the responsible, caring, consistent, and strong person he is today. For good or bad, growing up fast changed his life and he chose to use that for the good. I’m so proud of him. The same can be said for my amazing daughter who was also diagnosed early at age 8 and took on the battle with all the added responsibilities graciously.
I’m proud of both of my kids and how they handle the needles, pain, never-ending counting of carbs, and the constant reminders of diabetes and how if they don’t take care of themselves, they will have huge consequences like blindness or even death. Yes, I hate diabetes more than anything in life because it targeted my kids but I love how they have responded.
Diabetes is Leading Cause of New Blindness in Adults
Back to the scary statistic that diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in adults. There are numbers to back this up by the CDC, over 11% of the U.S. population (approximately 37.3 million people) has diabetes, of that, only 1.45 million are type 1 diabetics. Even more alarming is that even more people are prediabetic – 38% of adults – 96 million people! Don’t miss those annual physical exams, folks!
Type 1 or Type 2, diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness among adults from 18 to 64, according to a Prevent Blindness news release. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease and the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20–74. Diabetic retinopathy happens when diabetes damages blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy affects 7.7 million Americans, which is projected to increase to 14.6 million by 2030. That’s alarming!
Diabetes that is not controlled can damage your entire body, inside and out. Many people don’t take this seriously or understand the damaging effects the disease can have on vision.
“Regular dilated eye examinations are essential to detect diabetic retinopathy early and provide vision-saving treatments when ready,” Dr. Daniel Laroche, a top New York City eye specialist said.
Dr. Laroche is a glaucoma specialist who warns that cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, and macular degeneration usually occur between 40-70.
“Over time, these diseases can lead to blindness, so it’s best to address them as soon as possible,” said Dr. Laroche. “We have new treatments with earlier surgical options that can help preserve (or restore) their vision with faster recovery times.”
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans and people from the Caribbean. The easiest way to prevent glaucoma and blindness due to diabetes is to maintain regular eye visits.
Not just any eye visit works, ask your doctor for a comprehensive dilated exam and be sure to tell them you are a diabetic. For this visit, you’ll have pupil dilation, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, glaucoma test, and a vision test. For us, it takes about a full hour. My kids go to Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons in Stow, Ohio – they have several locations.
They are amazing and we highly recommend them for diabetic and traditional exams. They even do Lasik surgery. Taking care of your eyes is important for everyone, especially diabetics.
“Eyesight or human vision is one of the most important senses,” Dr. LaRoche said. “As much as 80 percent of what we feel comes through our sense of sight. By protecting the eyes, people will reduce the chance of blindness and vision loss while also staying on top of any developing eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts.”
About Dr. Daniel Laroche
Thank you Dr. Laroche, for the above quotes. He is an exceptional glaucoma specialist in New York. If you are in New York, check out his practice.