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In the August 1998 issue of Journal of the American Optometric Association, it was reported that people with diabetes may not be getting their annual eye exams. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), these people might be running the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is a sight-threatening eye disease which involves weakening or swelling of blood vessels in the retina, which line the back of the eye and contain millions of nerve cells needed for sight. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated if it is diagnosed and treated early, and if the individual is monitored thereafter.
Roland E. Gaudette, OD, conducted a two-year study in which he reviewed the health records of 2,825 people with diabetes. Dr. Gaudette discovered that only 628 of the people had an eye exam during that period.
The AOA stresses that people with diabetes seek annual eye examinations and that doctors and health care professionals educate them about the seriousness of diabetic retinopathy.
It is estimated that half of the 16 million Americans with diabetes are at risk for developing retinopathy.
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