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3 Benefits of Anti-Glare Coating

Glare refers to the excessive brightness caused by direct or reflected light. It can cause eye strain, digital eye strain (when using a computer, for example), halos, and headaches. Glare can also reduce visibility, making it unsafe to drive.

Anti-glare coating, also known as anti-reflective (AR) coating, is a thin layer applied to the surface of your eyeglass lenses that allows more light to pass through your lenses. By reducing the amount of glare that reflects off of your lenses, you can see more clearly and experience more comfortable vision. You can request anti-glare coating for lenses when you buy eyeglasses.

AR Coating Offers 3 Major Advantages

Better Appearance

Without an anti-glare coating on your glasses, camera flashes and bright lights can reflect off your lenses. This can hinder your appearance when speaking to people or in meetings, cause flash reflections when picture-taking, and make it difficult to find the right angle for video calls. Anti-reflective coating eliminates the harsh reflections and allows others to clearly see your eyes and face.

Reduced Digital Eye Strain

You know that tired, irritated feeling you get after staring at a digital screen for several hours? That’s digital eye strain. Anti-glare coating helps reduce digital eye strain by lowering exposure to excessive glare from digital devices and lighting.

Safe Driving at Night

The bright headlights from cars driving in the opposite direction can pose a serious danger when driving at night. These sudden glares can lead you to momentarily lose focus of the view ahead. AR coating on your prescription eyewear effectively reduces reflections from headlights at night, allowing you to enjoy a better view of the road and safer driving at night.

Let your eyes look and feel better every day with anti-glare coated lenses. Contact us to book your appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Richard Chu, D.O.

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Fort Worth, Texas. Visit EYEWORKS for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What You Should Know About Night Blindness

If you don’t see well while driving at night, there’s a chance you have night blindness. Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the inability to see well at night or in dim lighting. It’s not considered an eye disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem.

Our eye doctor can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness so that you can enjoy being out at night again.

Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

Causes of Night Blindness

The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

Vitamin A Deficiency — Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.

CataractsA buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.

Diabetic RetinopathyDamage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.

GlaucomaThis group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.

MyopiaAlso called nearsightedness, myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.

KeratoconusAn irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.

Usher SyndromeThis genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

Symptoms of Nyctalopia

Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
  • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
  • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

Treatments for Night Blindness

Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Prevention

While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact Eyeworks in Ft. Worth to schedule your appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Richard Chu, D.O.

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Fort Worth, Texas. Visit EYEWORKS for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What to Expect Following Glaucoma Surgery

happy senior couple 640Glaucoma is a sight-threatening eye disease that can start as early as age 40 and often has no signs until it’s too late and permanent damage to your eye has already begun. Left untreated, glaucoma leads to vision loss (‘tunnel vision’) or even total blindness. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, the earlier it’s diagnosed, the better the outcome.

In the early stages, medication can often control glaucoma by facilitating the drainage of excess eye fluid from the eye. Eventually, however, surgery may be necessary.

Glaucoma surgery stabilizes eye pressure and helps prevent future vision loss. Glaucoma surgery is successful in about 70-90% of cases and the benefits may be long-lasting.

Had Glaucoma Surgery? Here’s What To Expect.

You’ve finally had your glaucoma surgery. Now it’s time to relax and give your eyes time to heal. It is crucial to take care of your eyes in order to protect them from injury.

Though recovering from glaucoma surgery usually involves only mild discomfort, each person’s general physical health and type of surgery will affect their recovery experience and time.

Below are the 5 things you should expect as you recover from glaucoma surgery:

Blurred Vision and Minor Discomfort

Following glaucoma surgery, it’s common for your vision to become blurred. This can last from a few days to 6 weeks. Inflammation, swelling, redness, or irritation in the eye are all common during the first few days post-surgery. You may also experience a slight itchy feeling caused by the stitches and your eyes may also tear up or water more than usual during the recovery period.

If you experience a sudden loss of vision during this time, it’s important to contact your eye doctor immediately, as this could signal surgery-related complications.

No Driving

Driving is not recommended while recovering from glaucoma surgery, particularly right after the surgery. Make sure you have someone to drive you home after the surgery and to drive you to follow-up appointments with your eye doctor.

During your follow-up visits, your eye doctor will advise you when you can get behind the wheel again, but in general, most patients can resume driving approximately two weeks after surgery. But always discuss this with your eye doctor first.

Rest and Relaxation

During the recovery process, it’s important to take your time to relax and allow the eye to slowly heal. This means avoiding any heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Restrictions can sometimes include simple tasks like reading, writing, or typing, as even these activities can place stress on the tiny surgical incisions made during the surgery.

Be sure to ask your eye doctor when you can resume certain daily tasks and hobbies.

Follow Doctor’s Orders

As with any surgery, a successful recovery depends on closely following the post-op care and instructions you receive. After glaucoma surgery, your your eye doctor will place an eye shield and padding or a bandage to protect the eye that has undergone surgery. Be sure to keep this in place until your doctor tells you to remove it.

Your eye doctor will likely recommend a series of eye drops that contain anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It’s important to insert these drops as instructed to prevent infection, facilitate healing, and ease irritation.

The staff will set up your post-surgery follow-up appointments to ensure that your eyes are healing properly, with no signs of infection.

Proper Care and Hygiene

A few tips:

  • The eye shield is placed on the eye directly after the surgery in order to prevent you from rubbing or touching your eyes, as this can severely damage your delicate eyes.
  • Make sure you remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water prior to using eye drops.
  • Take care while showering the day after surgery. Make sure that shampoo, soap, hair spray, etc., don’t enter your eyes, especially during the first week.
  • It’s especially important to wear protective eyewear during your recovery, particularly during summertime. Eyewear protects your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, as well as from particles that can irritate sensitive eyes.
  • You may need to refrain from taking steroids for a period of time, since they can cause increased eye pressure and glaucoma risk. Your eye doctor will discuss all your medications with you.
  • Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs, as they can carry bacteria that can enter the eye and cause an infection. If swimming and other water sports are important to you, seek your eye doctor’s approval prior to jumping in.

Other things to consider:

  • Following glaucoma surgery, you should wear your glasses and not contact lenses
  • At night, you should wear the eye shield provided by your eye doctor
  • If you find your eyes are sensitive to light, wear sunglasses to reduce any discomfort
  • Do not wear eye makeup and avoid face cream for at least two weeks post-op

Protecting Your Vision and Eye Health

To protect your eye health and vision, it’s necessary to see your eye doctor for routine exams, as they can help catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early, when treatment is most effective.

To ensure that you have the best recovery possible, make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions. We will work with you to find the best treatment options. Contact EYEWORKS Ophthalmology Center today to consult with our optometric team and discover how we can help preserve your vision.

EYEWORKS Ophthalmology Center serves patients from Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks, and Benbrook, all throughout Texas.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Richard Chu, D.O.

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Fort Worth, Texas. Visit EYEWORKS for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Blinking and Dry Eye: The Clear Connection

Dry Eye Syndrome Affects Your Blinking

Ever notice that when you blink your eyes, your vision goes out of focus?

Blurry vision does not necessarily mean that you need new glasses. In fact, a very common cause of blurry vision is called dry eye syndrome. Often confused with eye allergies, when your eyes fail to produce tears with the right balance of oils, here eyes can become irritated, red, and even itchy. Over time, this can, in a severe case of dry eye, even affect your vision and make things blurry.

Nearly every week, Eyeworks sees patients who complain about the following:

  • Driving at night is difficult
  • Very light-sensitive
  • Glare from bright lights can be painful
  • Eyes are constantly red
  • Watery eyes are teary eyes
  • Continuous eye rubbing

While not everybody suffers from dry eye syndrome, there are certainly a number of shared symptoms that can indicate dry eye. One of the telltale signs, however, is when you blink and your vision goes to the focus. Because your vision is dependent on the quality of your tears, any imbalance will tend to disrupt the way your eyes can focus and receive light.

Dry Eye Specialist – Eye Doctor in Ft. Worth

If you have noticed any of the following symptoms such as blurry vision or red eyes, schedule an appointment at Eyeworks for a complete eye exam and dry eye evaluation and see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

Want to Learn More about Dry Eye? Read on!

Recovery from Cataract Surgery – What’s it Like?

Is School Work Causing Computer Vision Syndrome in Your Child?

Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

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At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Is School Work Causing Computer Vision Syndrome in Your Child?

List of Awards & News in 2016

How Can My Child’s Myopia Be Corrected?

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Your Child’s Eye Exam & Their Future

Preparing for school means new school supplies, meeting new friends and teachers, and ensuring your child visits their eye doctor for aneye exam. Although schools may offer vision screenings within a few weeks or days of the new school year to ensure a child doesn’t struggle with poor visual acuity, none of the staff or even trained nurses check for visual problems, such as binocular vision and accommodative eye skills that play a significant role in near vision. Children who develop reading problems may have passed vision screenings yet were never examined by a professional optometrist.

Another benefit of coming to our practice is that we specialize in myopia management. Traditionally, the only way to handle nearsightedness or myopia progression in a child is to increase the prescription, often resulting in thicker glasses. Over a few years, a child will end up jumping from a low prescription of -.5 or -1 to a high prescription of -3 or worse! Unfortunately, high myopia has been identified as a lead cause for eye disease in old age, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and even retinal detachment. A person can be 3-4x at risk for eye disease from having a prescription of -4 compared to someone with a low prescription.

Why does myopia cause eye disease?

Although LASIK surgery can help you see without eyeglasses, once a person’s eyes have worsened to a low prescription, the shape of their eye has elongated to a point that leaves the retina in a precarious state. Laser vision correction merely corrects the surface of the eye, but without preventing myopia progression, the damage has already been done. Therefore, the only way to safely secure one’s vision from greater risk is myopia management, in other words, taking steps to stop progression in its tracks.

What should a parent consider for their child’s next year at school?

Come to our practice and schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor, Dr. Robert Chu. We’ll not only evaluate the child’s complete eye health, but we’ll guide on the proper steps to slow myopia progression. We have methods through specialty contact lenses to stop advancing myopia, but often we’ll educate parents on how to slow progression through good habit building.

  • Children need 2 hours of outside play. Build their long-vision muscles!
  • Reduce screen time
  • Practice the 20-20-20 Rule.
    • Take a break from close vision work every 20 minutes,
    • Then look at something 20 feet away (or further)
    • Spend at least 20 seconds doing this before returning to your close-up work.

We look forward to seeing you and your children and getting the entire family prepared for the new school year with confidence & healthy vision.

At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

How Safe Are Overnight Contact Lenses?

Why Does Your Eye Doctor Dilate Your Pupils for an Eye Exam?

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

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Prevalence of Keratoconus & Likelihood of Detection

Eye Doctor, Keratoconus Treatment in Kelowna, BC.

Ever wonder how common is keratoconus in Ft. Worth, Texas?
Do people simply develop keratoconus overtime? Is it genetic?

Keratoconus has been a very complex and elusive eye disease that continues to baffle the world of eye health. Still, recent advanced surgical procedures and specialty contact lenses can help keratoconus patients achieve relatively normal vision, although the costs are generally high.

In severe cases where a cornea transplant is required, a patient will need to recover at home for weeks or longer placing strain on the rest of the family and finances.

How likely is someone to end up with keratoconus?

Estimates suggest that 1 out of 2000 people suffer from keratoconus.
Some optometrists who work with keratoconus patients speculate the rate is far more common nearing 1 out of 1000. Keratoconus, regardless, is considered rare, and there aren’t many indications that pinpoint which person is more likely to develop keratoconus.

Keratoconus is most commonly diagnosed with:

  • African Americans
  • Males
  • Teenagers/Early 20s

Keratoconus means that the cornea has developed an irregular shape, often leading to light sensitivity, blurry vision, and the inability to wear soft contact lenses.

These symptoms can indicate keratoconus, but further examination by an eye doctor will best assess whether you have keratoconus. An optometrist would need to use digital imaging to assess the health of the eye’s surface. Some forms of digital imaging check inside the eye to review blood vessels, the retina, or macula to ensure the critical aspects of the eyes structure is healthy. A patient with keratoconus who skips digital imaging or receives the wrong form of assessment will often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.

In order to ensure the best care and earliest detection for keratoconus or any corneal irregularity, schedule your next eye exam with one of our eye doctors in Ft. Worth, Texas, today.

At Eyeworks, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 817-346-7077 or book an appointment online to see one of our Ft. Worth eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Home Remedies For Dry Eye

If your eyes burn, itch or feel gritty, you may have dry eye syndrome. This is typically caused by a low production of tears or low-quality tears. Many substances and situations can cause dry eyes, such as the medication you’re taking, the time spent staring...

World Braille Day 2019

Each year during the month of January we recognize World Braille Day which gives us the opportunity to take a moment and appreciate the incredible gift that Braille has given to those who are blind or suffer from vision loss....

Why Does Your Eye Doctor Dilate Your Pupils for an Eye Exam?

If you’ve been following the guideline to have regular eye exams, then you’re probably familiar with having your pupils dilated. Why does your eye doctor do this? By dilating your pupils, the eye doctor can get a better view of your inner eye structures –...

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Using a flex benefits and health spending account on Orthokeratology | Ft. Worth, TX

Do you visit your eye doctor every year to simply replenish your supply of contact lenses or find the most affordable pair of frames? Eyewear costs can vary anywhere from $500 to even $1,000 on average per year. But, did you know that some eye doctors can help you achieve true vision correction throughout the day without the need of glasses or contacts?

Flex Benefits in Fort Worth, TexasFor decades, the only form of vision correction that people knew about was laser vision correction or LASIK. However, some aren’t candidates for LASIK, while others don’t want to brave the risks associated with eye surgery. Therefore, many patients decide to spend their end of year benefits towards another pair of designer eyewear or contact lenses.

Fortunately, an effective form of non-surgical vision correction exists called Orthokeratology. Not only do you have the same benefits as LASIK, but ortho-k is a 100% safe alternative for adults and even children.

Discover Orthokeratology at Eyeworks

Plus, research has shown that orthokeratology effectively slows the progression of myopia in children and young teens keeping their level of nearsightedness stable. This ensures healthier eyes for years to come as well as a lower risk for ocular diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Because flex benefits or health spending accounts typically include an expiration date, many people feel rushed when making a decision about their eye care needs. We encourage our patients to schedule an ortho-k consultation or even a routine eye exam early on so that they can learn about the available vision correction options and make an informed decision.

The ability to see perfectly throughout the day is an incredible change that brings better eyesight, enjoyment, and freedom. Use your benefits for something special like Orthokeratology, today.

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When I was 23 years old, some friends and I went to this beautiful old church in Lindsay, Texas. As we admired the art and architecture, one of my friends looked up and started reading a Latin inscription painted high in the woodwork of the ceiling. I could see that there were words up there, but there’s no way I could have read them, no matter what language they were written in. A couple days later, I went for my first eye exam in a long time and walked out with a prescription for some glasses.

At first, I was sort of scared of the idea of having somebody shoot a laser in my eyes, but after everyone I spoke to who had taken the LASIK plunge described it as the best thing they have ever done for themselves, I started to get comfortable with the idea. The other big obstacle however was cost. As a young man starting a family, the idea of spending that kind of money on myself for something I didn’t need didn’t make sense to me at the time.

Some people actually like wearing glasses, or so they say. Over the years my glasses lenses kept getting thicker and thicker. I hate wearing glasses, so I switched to contacts. Of course, switching to contacts meant I still had to wear glasses a lot, but now I got to poke my own eyes twice a day. I hate contacts, too. After about ten years of this, I started dreaming of LASIK.

LASIK patient with dr richard chu

Just kidding. Actually, I changed jobs to one that didn’t offer a Flex Spending Account, and I was back to square one. Another 10 years has passed since I first decided I wanted LASIK. Life happened. A lot of exciting and crazy and fun life, and now, after 20 years of glasses and contacts, I have decided to give myself the gift of LASIK.

Tanglewood mom lasik with dr richard 2

With total confidence, I have decided to let Dr. Richard Chu of Chu Eye Institute shoot a laser into my eyes and give me glasses-free vision. Dr. Richard has performed LASIK on many of our friends, and I have known the Chu family since middle school when Dr. Robert Chu (Richard’s older brother) and I were classmates at Fort Worth Country Day School.

I have entrusted my eyes and my kids’ eyes to the Doctors Chu at EYEWORKS Group for years, so choosing a doctor for my LASIK surgery was a no-brainer.

Prior to getting LASIK, I will need to be out of my contacts and wear my glasses for the last time for about three weeks. Then, after Dr. Richard works his magic, I am going to drive up to St. Jo and see what all that Latin was about.

Pink, Stinging Eyes?

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.

 

Women and Diabetes – World Diabetes Day

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. This year, the theme of World Diabetes Day is women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future. The goal of this campaign is to promote awareness of the importance of equal and affordable access for all women, whether they are at risk or already living with diabetes, to the treatments, medications, technology, education and information they need to prevent diabetes and to obtain the best possible outcome of the disease.

Here are some facts about women and diabetes around the World:

  • 199 million – the number of women living with diabetes to date.
  • 313 million – the projected statistic for the year 2040.
  • 2.1 million – the number of female deaths due to diabetes per year.
  • 9 – diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women on a global scale.
  • 60 million – which is 2 out of 5 diabetic women, are of reproductive age, which increases the risk of early miscarriage, vision loss and having malformed babies.
  • 10 – women with type 2 diabetes are ten times more likely to develop coronary heart disease.

Much of these incidences of diabetes occur in women lacking access to proper medical care, education, physical activity and information they need to prevent and manage the disease. If more efforts and monies were put toward improving this situation, these numbers could drop significantly.

Pregnant women with hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes are also a major cause of concern. Limited access to screening tests, pre-pregnancy planning services, education and medical care could also improve the outcome of both the mother and the baby in these cases. The majority of instances of gestational diabetes occur in women from low and middle-income countries or households with limited access to maternal care.

Here are some additional facts about diabetes and pregnancy:

  • 1 out of 7 – the number of births worldwide affected by gestational diabetes.
  • 1 out of 2 – the number of women with gestational diabetes that develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after giving birth.
  • 1 out of 2 – the number of cases of gestational diabetes that are found in women under 30 years of age.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

Diabetes damages many systems in your body including your eyes and vision. Most individuals with diabetes will eventually develop some extent of retinopathy or eye disease due to the consistently high levels of glucose in the blood which damage the blood vessels in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy can be a devastating disease that can leave you with permanent vision loss or blindness. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Diabetes also speeds up the formation of cataracts and other ocular diseases which can lead to further vision loss and complications.

Women who have been diagnosed with diabetes prior to becoming pregnant have to be especially careful during pregnancy. It is much more difficult to regulate blood sugars during pregnancy, and more rapid progression of diabetic retinopathy can occur if one is not careful. Keeping track of diet and exercise, and taking medications as directed, can prevent or delay the impact of diabetes on the eyes.

In addition to poorly managed blood sugar levels, additional factors that contribute to developing diabetic retinopathy are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Hispanic or Native American descent, smoking, pregnancy, and the length of time you have the disease. The condition can be managed with regular eye exams in combination with steps to control blood sugar levels.

It’s important to note that diabetes sometimes causes symptoms of vision fluctuation (good days and bad days with vision or focusing) but many times the damage is asymptomatic in its early stages. This is why it is essential to have regular checkups even when you have no pain or vision symptoms.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, regular eye exams are essential to monitor and prevent vision loss. Stay informed and spread awareness about this challenging condition. You can help be part of the change to improve the lives of women and people all over the world that suffer from diabetes and the serious complications that come with it.

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