According to the American Diabetes Institute, 25. 8 million Americans live with diabetes and an estimated 1.9 million new cases are diagnosed each year.

Blood glucose levels are not the only thing for Americans to worry about.  Diabetes can also affect your vision.

It is very common for diabetes patients to experience diabetic retinopathy a condition that attacks the outer retina of the eye. If not monitored, vision loss can occur.

“Number one you need to control your diabetes the best you can,” explains Dr. Raul Peña, ophthalmologist.

This means taking medication, monitoring your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, getting physical activity involving a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise and a healthy diet.

“Make sure you get your pupils dilated, make sure your doctor gets a good look at the back of your eye to make sure there is no diabetic retinopathy,” says Dr. Peña.

The American Diabetes Institute recommends diabetes patients ages 30 and older receive a dilated eye exam once a year.

You should see a doctor if you experience any of the following changes in your vision:

·         Blurry vision

·         Pressure in your eye

·         Difficulty reading signs or books

·         Prolonged red eyes

Ophthalmologists cannot reverse the damage caused by diabetic retinopathy, but they can prevent further vision damage. Don’t forget to join FOX2 tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Fireman’s Park in McAllen to walk for Alzheimer’s Awareness!