As U.S. waistbands expand, so do the numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, 24 million Americans have diabetes and and an additional 57 million Americans are at risk. Because a diagnosis of diabetes can also bring with it the possibility of irreversible vision loss or total blindness, optometrists serve as a first line of detection for diabetes.
The American Optometric Association encourages the public to include optometrists in their team of healthcare professionals and to visit their optometrist regularly just as they do their primary care physician and dentist.
Thank you for your interest in promoting the importance of healthy vision for all people—especially as it relates to people with diabetes or those at risk for the disease. The AOA National Diabetes Month Campaign addresses three of the Healthy People 2010 vision objectives:
28-1: Increase the proportion of persons who have a dilated eye examination at appropriate intervals.
28-5: Reduce visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy.
28-10: Increase vision rehabilitation.