WVU Project Helps Prevent Blindness In Diabetic Patients

The risk of going blind is very real for diabetics. The WVU project hopes to mitigate the risks and help bring awareness for diabetic patients. West Virginia University doctors are at the front of the program, and staff across the state have joined efforts to find early intervention for diabetic retinopathy.

Vision loss can interfere with the quality of life, so early detection plays a crucial role in keeping the patients healthier and operating in their normal lifestyles for a long time. Doctors recommend diabetic patients get an eye exam at least once a year, particularly if their vision loss can be fixed with glasses. Patients can go see a doctor where pictures of their eyes are taken and sent to the WVU eye institute.

What’s Diabetes-related Eye Disease?

If you have diabetes, prevention of eyes-related diseases should be included in your list of priorities. Diabetes-related eye disease may cause you to have difficulty reading, seeing at night, seeing faces across the room, and even blindness. The two forms of diabetes-related disease are:

  • Diabetes-related retinopathy: This happens when the blood vessels leak and bleed in the retina. The retina is the layer that helps you see. Diabetes-related retinopathy affects more than 1 in 4 diabetic patients.
  • Diabetes-related macular edema: It’s a swelling happening with retinopathy where the small blood vessels in the retina become leaky causing the retina to swell and the vision to become blurry.

The good news is that these forms of the diabetes-related disease can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle.

Overall, it’s important patients have early screenings done, so that hopefully treatment can save the sight sooner or later. It’s estimated that one in three Americans with diabetes may experience retinopathy by 2050. Early detection can reduce the risk of severe vision loss by as much as 90%.

The WVU project is trying to connect patients diagnosed with diabetes with an eye care specialist. They hope to expand the program to other states. They also want to create a network between eye care professionals and primary care providers the project may expand to other diseases. It’s a nice partnership that could make things easier for everyone, and above all, prevent blindness in many people.

Keep your eyes healthy.  Request a vision quote here.


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