National Diabetes Month: Why an Eye Exam is Crucial

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Every November, people across the United States observe National Diabetes Month, bringing attention to the disease and its impact on millions of Americans. Diabetes is a growing epidemic, especially in my home state of California. Last year a University of California Los Angeles study found that 55% of adults in California have diabetes or prediabetes.

My paternal grandfather had diabetes, my aunt on my mom’s side has diabetes, my father was deemed prediabetic, and in my second pregnancy I experienced gestational diabetes. I am one of the many individuals at risk of becoming diabetic and therefore pay close attention to any preventative measures that can be taken, including ways to detect early signs.

For most people, eye care is only top of mind when a vision correction need surfaces, but eye exams are about so much more than just getting a prescription. A comprehensive eye exam assesses not only the health of a patient’s eyes, it can detect signs of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

According to the National Eye Institute, as many as 24,000 people with diabetes lose their sight each year. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults less than 65 years of age. The retina is the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye.

Do you currently have vision care coverage? Talk to your employer about when your open enrollment period is and review your options with VSP. When was your last eye exam? The process is rather easy and the health and vision benefits are well worth the visit.

This November, in observance of this important awareness month, go get your annual eye exam. Ensure you’re seeing your best and staying your “healthiest.”

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