More people are being diagnosed with diabetes in recent years. The increased prevalence of diabetes is creating a number of other health concerns. Among them is an increased incidence of people suffering from eye related disorders.
Many diabetics suffer from a problem known as diabetic retinopathy. This disorder causes damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye. If the problem goes untreated, it can lead to serious complications in vision. People suffering from diabetic retinopathy can develop blurred vision or even blindness.
Researchers from theÂ Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute have conducted studies to estimate the number of people in the country who suffer from diabetic retinopathy. Their numbers indicate that nearly 8 million people over the age of 40 have the condition in the United States alone. That marks a nearly 90% increase in the disorder in the past decade.
Although the percentage of people with diabetes suffering from diabetic retinopathy has increased in recent years, that isn’t the most alarming factor to researchers. The number of people with diabetes has skyrocketed in recent years. Experts project that the United States nearly 30 million Americans will have been diagnosed with diabetes within the next few years. The increased incidence in diabetes is the key driving force in the number of people suffering from diabetic retinopathy.
The increase in diabetic retinopathy is major concern for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is already the leading cause of blindness in the United States. A moderate increase in the number of people suffering from the disorder could significantly increase the likelihood that people will develop decision problems in the coming years.
Another problem is that the disorder can be very difficult to address. Although it is treatable, the symptoms are often very subtle in the early stages of the disorder. Patients have to see their optometrist regularly to make sure they aren’t developing vision related problems arising from diabetes.
Although warning people about risks associated with diabetic retinopathy is important, many researchers argue the only way to slow the progression of the disorder is to get a handle on the diabetes epidemic.