Those with Diabetes at Higher Risk for Vision Loss


For more information:

Prevent Blindness

Whitney Anderson

Phone:  (800) 301-2020 ext. 105

E-mail address: [email protected]

                                     Those with Diabetes at Higher Risk for Vision Loss, But Steps Can Be Taken to Save Sight

                   -Prevent Blindness Provides Free Educational Materials as Part of November’s Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month-

Columbus, OH (Oct.  31, 2017) – More than 8 million Americans have diabetic retinopathy, according to the study, “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” from Prevent Blindness.  As the rates of diabetes cases grow across the country, so do the projected rates of diabetic eye disease, with a 35 percent increase to 10.9 million by 2032, and a 63 percent increase to 13.2 million by 2050.

The study also found that, unlike other eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration, more men than women have diabetic retinopathy. And, Hispanic populations are projected to exhibit extremely high growth in diabetic retinopathy cases. Currently, 67 percent of cases are among whites and 17 percent among Hispanics. By 2050, projections are that 45 percent of diabetic retinopathy patients will be white and 35 percent will be Hispanic.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults. And, the National Eye Institute states that people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind than those without diabetes.

In Ohio, nearly 285,000 adults aged 40+ have diabetic retinopathy which is characterized by patches of vision loss, cloudy vision, glare sensitivity and decreased night or low-light vision.

People with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma and 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts than those without diabetes. If diabetes is detected and treated early, the blinding effects can be lessened.

“Prevent Blindness urges everyone with diabetes to get an annual dilated eye exam,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “Your eye doctor can help monitor your vision and advise you of the necessary steps to take today to help lessen the impact that the disease may have on your sight.”

Prevent Blindness  has declared November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month to help educate the public on the effects of diabetes on vision, types of diabetic eye disease, risk factors and treatment options. Prevent Blindness  offers a variety of free resources dedicated to the education of diabetic eye disease including its dedicated website,

All people with diabetes are at risk of developing eye disease that can permanently damage their vision and even lead to blindness. However, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent diabetic eye disease, including:

  • Maintaining good blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control.

  • Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam and/or obtaining retinal photographs that are examined by an eye doctor, at least once a year, or more often as recommended by the eye doctor.

  • Women with diabetes prior to pregnancy should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam early in their pregnancy. The eye doctor may recommend additional exams during pregnancy.

  • Keeping a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising regularly, not smoking and following a healthy diet. Talk to a dietician about eating habits and a doctor before starting an exercise program.

For more information on diabetic eye disease, please call Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate at (800) 301-2020 or visit

About Prevent Blindness

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020.  Or, visit us on the web at or


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