Prevent Blindness


(Music) Announcer: Welcome to ‘Your Health’ with Joan Lunden. Presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Joan Lunden: Hi, I’m Joan Lunden. 29 million Americans in our country have diabetes. And 25% of them don’t even know it. And that is pretty scary because if left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications, including blindness. Today I am joined by Jinan Saaddine from the CDC. And it’s good to have you here. Jinan Saaddine: Thank you. Joan Lunden: Now how prevalent is diabetes as being the cause of blindness? Jinan Saaddine: Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults. Joan Lunden: Well that’s amazing, I mean because 29 million Americans have diabetes. Jinan Saaddine: It is very scary, but the good news is 90% of the vision loss caused by diabetes can be prevented. Joan Lunden: And how? Jinan Saaddine: By, people with diabetes, they have to see their eye doctor. Regularly. At least once a year to have an eye exam. Because diabetic eye disease has no early signs, or symptoms. The only way you can detect it is by the eye exam. Joan Lunden: So you can be going about your life, living your life, driving your car, everything’s fine, no symptoms? Jinan Saaddine: Yes. You can have 20/20 vision, you can do everything, and the damage is happening inside the eye. The only way to detect it is by the eye exam. But, unfortunately, 50% of people with diabetes, don’t even see their eye doctor. Joan Lunden: Oh my gosh. Jinan Saaddine: As recommended. Joan Lunden: And we should also say, In addition to seeing the eye doctor, they also have to be going regularly to the internist? Right? Jinan Saaddine: Definitely. It’s a team work. In addition to having the regular eye exam, they need to make sure that they’re controlling their blood sugar. Because it is the most effective way to prevent diabetic eye disease. And to avoid vision loss. So it’s a team work of internist, educators, and eye care professionals. Joan Lunden: Alright. Thank you so much. So if you have diabetes, make sure you get that dilated eye exam every year. And also, You can go to cdc.gov/diabetestv for more information. I’m Joan Lunden. Announcer: Sponsored by NACDD with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit cdc.gov/diabetestv (music)

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