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News Release

Joslin Diabetes Center Reminds People with Diabetes to Schedule Annual Eye Exams to Preserve Vision

Diabetes Alert Day is March 27, 2007

BOSTON – March 23, 2007 – Did you know that diabetes is the number one cause of preventable vision loss and blindness? Did you also know that an annual eye exam can lead to early detection of diabetic retinopathy and other eye disease, a frequent complication of diabetes?

On Diabetes Alert Day – a day set aside by the American Diabetes Association to raise public awareness of the rampant incidence of diabetes in our nation – the care team at the world renowned Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute reminds the 20.8 million Americans with diabetes to schedule an annual eye exam. Joslin’s Beetham Eye Institute clinicians have shown that an annual exam can provide early detection and help prevent or delay 90 percent of cases of vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults, resulting in 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year. 

Diabetic retinopathy, the most common eye disease in people with diabetes, occurs when the small blood vessels in the eye are damaged by high levels of glucose in the blood.  Because diabetic retinopathy can progress to advanced stages without the patient knowing it, it is crucial to have annual eye exams to help preserve vision.

Joslin clinicians recommend a three-prong approach to preserving vision:

  • Maintain excellent A1C levels. (The A1C is a test that measures average blood glucose levels over the 2 to 3 month period before the test.)
  • Keep blood pressure, blood lipids and other health factors in check.
  • Have an annual eye exam.

To watch a video on Joslin’s Web site about the importance of annual eye exams, click here.

For more information about eye research and clinical trials at Joslin, click here.

About the Beetham Eye Institute

Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute is a world leader in diabetes eye care and in research to identify the causes of diabetic eye disease and to find new therapies to lessen the risks of vision loss. The care team at the Beetham Eye Institute is dedicated to delivering the best and most personalized, compassionate care. For more information about Beetham Eye Institute services, click here. For an appointment, call (617) 732-2552.