Complications caused by diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in Americans. To raise awareness for this disease, November has been established as American Diabetes Awareness Month by the American Diabetes Association. With diabetes affecting at least one in every 400 children in the United States, it’s important to be aware of the potential effects of diabetes to your children’s eye health.
If blood sugar isn’t controlled adequately, vision problems ranging from temporary blurred vision to permanent blindness, can occur. Since children with diabetes may have trouble sticking to the strict regimens a diabetic diet requires, it’s very important to be aware of the problems that can affect their vision and ensure the proper steps are taken to prevent permanent damage to the retina.
Children with diabetes should receive a vision test, including a retinal exam once per year by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist. The doctor will examine your retina for any changes on the surface that might indicate diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness if left untreated. These yearly exams are absolutely critical, especially in diabetic children, so doctors can compare the results from year to year. The earlier treatment can begin for your child if they’re diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, the better.
Diabetic retinopathy is not a common issue in children that haven’t yet reached puberty. Most changes to the retina are pre-retinopathic if they do appear at all. However, without proper screening, it’s impossible to tell if the condition is serious or not. As part of American Diabetes Month, help spread the word about the importance of retinal screening for the prevention of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.
Real Kids is committed to helping you protect your children’s eye health. Visit our website to view the wide variety of sun protection we have for children from infancy and beyond.