LINTHICUM, MD, November 20, 2018 – Versant Health, a leading national managed eye health and vision plan company, honors Diabetic Eye Disease month by showing how routine eye exams not only save your vision, but can also potentially save your life.
More than 25 million Americans have diagnosed diabetes, and estimates suggest that by 2050, one-third of ALL Americans will be diabetic. Like any disease, early detection is key when it comes to diabetes. And eye exams are key, with 20 percent of people first discovering they have diabetes as a result of an eye exam.
“During an eye exam, the doctor examines the optic nerve, the retinal blood vessels, and the back of the eye, where he or she may notice leakages in the small capillaries in the retina, which often indicates diabetic retinopathy,” says Dr. Mark Ruchman, CMO, Versant Health. “Even if diabetes has not been diagnosed, those telltale leakages are a sure sign that the patient has the disease.”
Diabetic retinopathy is the fourth leading cause of blindness in the United States. In fact, nearly 30% of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have diabetic retinopathy, and 5% of those are in the advanced stages, where blindness is a real possibility.
“When detected early and treated aggressively, diabetic retinopathy can be slowed, if not stopped,” says Elizabeth Klunk, RN, BSN, CCM; VP Medical Management, Versant Health. “In this way, a routine eye exam not only detects vision and eye disease, but can open a window into overall health as well, often before any symptoms appear.”
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