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March 28, 2023 is Diabetes Alert Day: Raising Awareness of a Leading Cause of Vision Loss

by Connor Courtien, RDPFS Intern

Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, will take place on March 28, 2023. Observed on the fourth Tuesday of March each year, the Day seeks to raise awareness of this chronic illness to identify undiagnosed cases and prevent complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from their current National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 8.5 million Americans live with undiagnosed diabetes, making up 23 percent of the entire adult population with diabetes. Accordingly, each Diabetes Alert Day acts as a wake-up call for these individuals to get the care they need to prevent avoidable complications. Among the complications are several impacting eye health, including diabetic retinopathy, in which high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina, as well as cataracts and glaucoma. Diabetes is now the leading cause of vision loss in adults aged 18-64, as noted by the ADA in their Focus on Diabetes initiative. The good news, however, is that 95 percent of vision loss caused by diabetes can be avoided by an annual eye exam and follow up treatment, as needed. For more information on Diabetes Alert Day, including its history as well as how to observe the occasion and contribute to diabetes awareness, check out this article from National Today. For additional information on eye health as it relates to diabetes, read about the ADA initiative, Focus on Diabetes.