According to the National Eye Institute, 7.7 million people age 40 and older have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. This number is projected to increase to 11 million in the next 15 years. Diabetes affects more than 29 million people in the United States, which is almost 10 percent of the population. In addition, more than one out of three individuals has pre diabetes, a condition that puts people at and increased risk for developing diabetes. All patients with diabetes are at risk for diabetic eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. All diabetic patients should have a dilated eye exam at least once per year to detect vision problems early. African Americans, American Indians and Hispanics with diabetes are at higher risk of losing vision or going blind, but all races with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease. With early detection and quick treatment, people with diabetic retinopathy can reduce their risk of severe vision loss by 95 percent, according to Suber Huang, M.D., chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for the NEI’s National Eye Health Education Program. Research has shown that when a diabetic patient maintains good control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, they can slow the progression of diabetic eye diseases. Visit one of our 8 locations including Fort Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral.