Eye Problems Linked to Diabetes

Many U.S. Hispanics with diabetes are unaware that a potential complication of their condition is eye disease, and they do not get regular eye exams that could identify any problems.

Eye disease is present in many individuals with diabetes but often they have not been diagnosed with diabetes or they assume the problems have to do with needing reading glasses or newer glasses and an eye exam.

That’s the finding of a new survey led by Johns Hopkins University, published in the current Archives of Ophthalmology. The researchers focused on Hispanics because their rate of diabetes is especially high – 1.9 times the rate in non-Hispanic white people – and because for some, the language barrier hinders discussion and understanding about the condition.

Even with bi-lingual or Spanish language conversations only 36 percent of newly diagnosed diabetics knew that. In addition, the percentage climbed to 52 percent among those who’d known they had diabetes for more than a year. Just 30 percent of the diabetics had been to the eye doctor in the previous year.

There are several reasons for this situation including lack of eye-care medical coverage, inability to obtain affordable private insurance or coverage at work, and inability to get medicaid due to various immigration and paperwork issues.

It is essential to begin taking care of your eyes as soon as you notice any sort of problem including blurred or fuzy vision, twitching, pain or anything else out of the ordinary. Often, the situation can be caught i time to keep the eyes from getting worse. In many cases, getting your eyes checked can identify the fact that you have diabetes, helping to save your health on a larger scale.

Don’t ignore your eyes. They can tell you and your doctor a lot about your health.

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