Prevent Blindness Creates New ‘Diabetes and the Eyes’ Educational Resource in English and Spanish

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CHICAGO—To educate consumers on the one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, Prevent Blindness has created a new resource, the “Diabetes and the Eyes” toolkit, which includes materials in both English and Spanish, according to the organization’s announcement earlier this week. The materials were made possible by funding from the Allergan Foundation, the announcement noted. "Diabetes can have a tremendous impact on vision, which affects everything from the ability to work to quality of life,” Prevent Blindness president and chief executive officer Jeff Todd said. “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.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in adults. And, 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 increase by 35 percent to 10.9 million by 2032. 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 health care 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.

·       Fact sheets – three fact sheets about general information; symptoms and risk; and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

·       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 fact sheets have received Favorably Reviewed Approval from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), according to the Prevent Blindness announcement.