Prevent Blindness has declared November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month to assist in educating the public on diabetes prevention plans, potential risk factors, treatment options and Medicare coverage policies in light of the large increase in diabetes cases, according to a release.
“Public education is an important key to reducing the onset of vision problems related to diabetes,” Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in the release. “Public health workers at the state and local level are committed to the health and well-being of those living in their state and can have the largest impact on increasing public awareness.”
To assist with this effort, the organization is looking to health agencies to increase their attention to the eye care needs of those living with diabetes, as well as those who may be at high risk for diabetic retinopathy. The organization has distributed diabetic eye disease resources, such as an online course, information on the growing impact of diabetic eye disease, financial assistance resources for those in need and eye health fact sheets, according to the release.
According to a recent study from Prevent Blindness, the estimated number of diabetic retinopathy cases is currently more than 8 million this year, and that number is projected to increase to nearly 11 million within the next 18 years.