Diabetes "can cause blindness"

Diabetes "can cause blindness"

The threat of diabetes to eyesight has been highlighted by a vision expert in the US.

Jose Pulido, professor of ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, said loss of vision through diabetes ignorance was a "tragedy waiting to happen".

Some 24 million Americans have diabetes and most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes are Hispanic-Americans - a fifth of this group are diabetic.

Almost half could suffer vision loss because they have abnormal blood vessel changes in the eye as a result.

"Effective treatments, including annual eye exams, can reduce severe vision loss in diabetics by up to 94 per cent," said Mr Pulido.

The earlier diabetes is caught and appropriate lifestyle changes and treatment begin, the better the chance of avoiding vision loss and other health consequences.

Regular eye checks can also reveal the presence of diabetes in people who are unaware they have it.

by Emily Tait

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