Prevent Blindness and Regeneron Unite for Expanded “Diabetes and the Eyes” Program

Damaged blood vessels in the retina due to diabetic retinopathy. Image courtesy of Prevent Blindness Optics Suppliers Pennsylvania.

Prevent Blindness has announced that they are expanding their educational “Diabetes and the Eyes” program with the help of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. 

With historical roots going back as far as 1908, Prevent Blindness is an organization that serves millions of people through education and eye care. The “Diabetes and the Eyes” program was created in 2019 to provide resources to both health professionals and patients with the goal of preventing blindness caused by diabetes.

The newly updated program includes video resources in both English and Spanish, local events and support, and updated educational materials highlighting the impact of diabetes on vision. 

The Growing Risk of Diabetes and Vision Loss

Not only does diabetes continue to be one of the leading causes of blindness and vision loss in the United States, but the risk continues to grow. 

According to the latest figures from the CDC, it’s estimated that 11.3% of Americans have diabetes but nearly one-fourth of them are unaware of their condition. This is particularly concerning when it comes to vision loss, as damage to the eyes can occur before visual symptoms are first detected. 

Considering that an additional 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year (per the American Diabetes Association), so too does the risk grow that more people will develop vision loss or even blindness from diabetes. The educational resources from Prevent Blindness can help address this worsening problem through education and proactive solutions.

What the New Program Includes

The “Diabetes and the Eyes” program from Prevent Blindness includes an updated toolkit, fact sheets, and graphics. Their partnership with Regeneron has allowed them to make additional expansions including:

  • Videos: The videos now include Spanish subtitles. Subjects covered will feature a variety of topics including an introductory video, information on the mental and emotional impacts of vision loss from diabetes, and working together with eye care providers.
  • Local Events and Community Awareness: Prevent Blindness representatives across the country will work with local organizations to help increase awareness of the causes of diabetes-related eye disease. Partnering organizations will provide education, screening, and eye care to thousands of people living with diabetes.
  • Educational Webinar: In conjugation with May’s Healthy Vision Month, Prevent Blindness will host a webinar on May 25th related to eye care and diabetes.
  • Other Efforts: Prevent Blindness will help educate the public through a variety of channels including social media and newsletters.

According to Prevent Blindness, the number of Americans living with diabetes-related retinopathy is expected to nearly double by 2050 from 2010 levels. The resources they provide can be a necessary step to raising awareness and diagnosing the disease at an earlier stage. You can find out more about the “Diabetes and The Eyes” educational toolkit here.

Allentown Optical appreciates the hard work that optical professionals put in to support and educate people living with diabetes-related eye disease every day. We offer a variety of services to support your work that is tailored to fit your needs. To see how we can help, contact us today!