Ophthalmology Campaign Urges Prevention on World Diabetes Day

As part of today's World Diabetes Day, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), through its EyeSmart™ campaign, is reminding the public that an annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.

The incidence of diabetes continues to increase, particularly among adolescents and young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects the number of diabetic retinopathy cases will double by 2050.

To promote awareness of the need for an annual eye exam, AAO, along with its partners the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society and the Retina Society, has launched EyeSmart EyeCommitted, a social media campaign to encourage people with diabetes to pledge to get an annual eye exam.

"As ophthalmologists, we are concerned that the increase in Type 2 diabetes cases at younger ages could mean people may be facing vision-threatening eye disease in the prime of their lives," said David W. Parke II, MD, AAO executive vice president and CEO. "That is why we're urging people with diabetes to get EyeCommitted. By taking charge of their eye health, Americans can greatly reduce their risk of losing their sight from diabetes."

The EyeCommitted campaign, which is promoted through social media channels, includes an interactive pledge application that:

  • Encourages visitors to take the EyeCommitted pledge to have an annual diabetic eye exam;
  • Allows users to share the pledge and campaign information with friends and family;
  • Features important diabetic eye disease information and a new video that tells the compelling stories of two patients with diabetic retinopathy; and,
  • Allows users to post the application onto their preferred social media sites.

For each pledge, AAO will commit another $1 to its diabetic eye health education efforts.

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