6 things PCPs should know about diabetic vision loss
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 29.1 million people, or 9.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. Over 8 million (27.8%) have the disease and are not diagnosed.
The number of diagnosed cases are projected to increase 165% from the year 2000 to 2050, according to the American Diabetes Association. By 2050, there will be 29 million diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States.
At the same time, the number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy and other eye complications associated with diabetes are expected to nearly double–from 7.7 million in 2000 to 14.6 million in 2050.
While diabetes can affect the human body in many ways, eye diseases associated with diabetes reduce a patient’s quality of life and lead to the loss of productivity. The growing number of diabetic patients suffering with associated eye diseases is, and will continue to be, a major public health problem.
While the statistics for the diabetes epidemic are overwhelming, a positive point is that diabetic eye diseases can be treated when detected early, long before vision loss occurs. Primary care physicians (PCPs) can be instrumental in preventing vision loss and blindness among their diabetic patients.
Here is some information about diabetic eye disease and how PCPs can help reduce the number of diabetic patients with vision loss and total blindness.