While many of us know diabetes is a health concern, we may not know what it actually is or how common it is. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood sugar is too high and the body doesn’t make enough insulin to convert that blood sugar into energy. And it’s far more common than we realize: about 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes, and 1 in 5 adults with diabetes don’t even know they have it.
There are two main types of diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin, or makes so little insulin you need to take insulin to live—and while it was once known as a childhood disease, it actually occurs across a variety of ages, body types, races, and sizes. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t make insulin or doesn’t use it well. Type 2 diabetes occurs most often in adults and is the most common form of the disease. With either type, the most important thing is early detection and treatment, which can help manage the disease and prevent complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and even blindness! That’s where your eye health comes in.