To educate consumers on one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, Prevent Blindness has created a new resource, the “Diabetes and the Eyes” toolkit. Materials are available in both English and Spanish.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in adults. According to the Prevent Blindness study, “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” more than 8 million Americans have diabetes-related retinopathy. Those numbers are projected to sharply increase in the future by 35 percent to 10.9 million by 2032, and a 63 percent increase to 13.2 million by 2050.
Diabetes-related eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the disease including diabetes-related retinopathy and diabetes-related macular edema (DME).
The “Diabetes and the Eyes” toolkit includes:
- Educator Course – created for healthcare professionals, community health educators, diabetes educators, and anyone in a caregiving or diabetes education role. The course equips health educators with important patient education messages about diabetes-related eye disease and strategies for maintaining healthy vision. It provides education to individuals living with diabetes as well as populations at highest risk for developing diabetes. The course includes a PowerPoint presentation, a script, pre-post test, and course evaluation form.
- Factsheets – three factsheets about general information; symptoms and risk; and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention to educate patients and the public.
- Infographics – shareable graphics designed to be used for social media and media communication to educate patients and the public. Users are encouraged to post messages with #VisionandDiabetes.
- Assistance Resources – created to help patients seek the eye care that they require by understanding barriers to access, ways to navigate their healthcare systems, the intricacies of health insurance and eye care, and an understanding of eye care assistance resources.
The English version of the educator course and the factsheets have received “Favorably Reviewed Approval” from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). In addition, these materials were made possible by funding from the Allergan Foundation.
“Diabetes can have a tremendous impact on vision, which affects everything from the ability to work to quality of life,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Thanks to the generous support of the Allergan Foundation, we can educate the public on the steps that can be taken and the resources that are available to help protect the gift of sight.”
For more information on the Diabetes and the Eyes program, visit www.preventblindness.org/diabetes-resources.