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November is Diabetes-related Eye Disease Awareness Month

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.

ISPB and PBIL have declared November as Diabetes-related Eye Disease 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 Illinois and 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 Illinois and 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.

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/

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