According to the 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 37.3 million people) have diabetes. Alarmingly, 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (38 percent of the adult US population). And, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years.
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading nonprofit eye health and safety organization, has declared November as Diabetes-related Eye Disease Awareness Month in an effort to provide the public with a variety of helpful tools to prevent unnecessary vision loss from diabetes.
A new episode of the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Expert Series dedicated to diabetes-related eye disease and health disparities will also be available during November. Jeff Todd, president, and CEO of Prevent Blindness, will interview Kristen Nwanyanwu, MD, MBA, MHS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Nwanyanwu is the principal investigator at the SEEN Lab (Sight-Saving Engagement and Evaluation in New Haven).
In 2022, Prevent Blindness revamped its popular Diabetes & the Eyes Educational Toolkit, available in English and Spanish, which includes educational resources, such Power Point presentations, shareable social media graphics, and a dedicated webpage. Fact sheets, including the new “Diabetes-related Eye Disease and Mental Health” fact sheet are also available. These resources are intended for healthcare professionals, community health educators, and those in a caregiving or diabetes education role.
The Diabetes & The Eyes program, supported by funding from Regeneron, also includes:
Comprehensive Video Series– Prevent Blindness produced a new series of videos, including “Diabetes, Vision Loss, and Mental Wellness.”
Videos funded in part by Focus on Diabetes™, an eye health initiative of the American Diabetes Association® include: “The Patient Perspective: Diabetes-related Eye Disease,” and the upcoming videos “Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes: What you need to know about your eyes” ” Patient-centered care”, “Advice from a patient living with diabetes”, “Vision loss and diabetes,” and “Introduction to the Diabetes + the Eyes Educational Toolkit.”
Patient Education Webinar– Panelists of the “Diabetes and Your Eyes: A Conversation Around Patient-Centered Care” webinar discuss how health care providers coordinate care for persons with diabetes, talk with each other, and consider patient needs. Leading doctors from throughout the United States who care for individuals with diabetes as well as person with diabetes participate in the conversation.
Community-Level Health Education and Support- Prevent Blindness affiliates across the country continue to work with other local partner organizations to educate the public on a variety of vision and eye health issues related to diabetes, and offer support resources.
“Many people with diabetes may not know about the damaging effects the disease can have on vision,” said Jeff Todd, Prevent Blindness president, and CEO. “We thank our partners for helping us educate the public on the steps that can be taken today in order to help save sight from diabetes-related eye disease.”
For more information on the “Diabetes & the Eyes” program, please visit https://www.preventblindness.org/diabetes-and-eyes-educational-toolkit. For general diabetes information, visit http://preventblindness.org/diabetes. For a free listing of organizations and services that provide financial assistance for vision care in English or Spanish, please visit https://preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.
About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs, and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, visit us at PreventBlindness.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.