November 14th is World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to global recognition of diabetes and how it affects everyone. It is a safe bet that virtually everyone in Canada has heard of, and likely knows someone who is living with diabetes. Currently, there are nearly 11 million people living with either diabetes or prediabetes, a disease that causes the body to either fail to produce insulin, or makes it incapable of using it. Since insulin helps the body control blood sugar, people with diabetes suffer from high blood sugar levels. You may be aware that high blood sugar can damage your body’s organs, but were you aware that your eyes were included in the potential damage?
February has been dedicated to raising awareness of AMD and Low Vision in Canada. Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in those over 50 and often comes on so slowly that people generally don’t notice it until their vision has been severely impaired.
What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?
The macula is a tiny piece at the back of the retina which controls your sharp central vision. This is the area affected by AMD, beginning by attacking your ability to see fine details. It may begin with having trouble reading fine print, or possibly a blur in your central vision. Eventually you will have trouble reading, driving, or doing an activity which requires the ability to see clearly. Left untreated, it will very likely cause total blindness.