Decreasing Numbers of Eye Complications from Diabetes Seen

by Mark Benson on November 23, 2011

Lower numbers of vision problems for diabetics

According to the latest data from the National Health Interview Survey, an increasing number of diabetes mellitus sufferers report to have lesser incidence of diabetes related vision problems.

This was found in the survey from 1997 to 2010 where individual diabetes sufferers were asked if they had gone to an eye doctor or had problems with their vision within the last year. The survey found that the number of diabetics with vision problems increased tremendously, from 2.7 million to 3.9 million but there was a significant decrease in the number of diabetes sufferers that reported eye and vision problems.

The report was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and it found that nearly 19 percent of people suffering from diabetes had vision problems as of late, compared to 26 percent back in 1997.

According to the lead author of the study, Nilka Borrows, the lower numbers is due to better management techniques regarding the control of diabetes complications. She said, “There is better blood glucose control, blood pressure control and cholesterol control in people with diabetes.”

Another expert, Dr. Mark Fromer of Lenox Hill Hospital, said the best way for diabetes sufferers to lower the incidence of developing vision problems is the proper management of blood sugar levels. It is also advised that diabetics should get a yearly eye check up to prevent exacerbation of the complications.

While the numbers are dropping, the number of diabetics having their eyes checked up has also continued to fall, from 24% in 1997 to only 17% in 2010. Overall, only 63% with diabetes and vision issues actually undergo the annual eye exam.

Burrows added, “Most vision loss caused by diabetes could be avoided by managing the disease well, such as good control of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol and by getting a dilated eye examination every year to find problems early and treat them in time to avoid serious vision damage.”

She further adds, “Continued efforts are needed to sustain and improve the declining trends in self reported vision impairment and to increase rates of recommended eye examinations in the population with diabetes.”

The full report was published in the Nov 18 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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