Diabetic retinopathy affects about 28.5 percent of Americans with diabetes age 40 and older; that amounts to 7 million people. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults up to age 74 —- and in many cases, early detection can prevent it.
The National Eye Health Education Program urges the importance of an annual dilated eye exam that checks the retina in the back of the eye for signs of damage.
Diabetic eye disease includes cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye); diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina); and glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve). Anyone with Diabetes 1 or 2 is liable for vision loss, but those at highest risk are African Americans and Latinos, according to the NEHEP.
"Half of all people with diabetes don't get annual dilated eye exams. People need to know that about 95 percent of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented through early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up," said Dr. Suber Huang, chair of the program's committee.
In addition to a dilated eye exam, the NEHEP recommends the following ways to stay healthy:
• Take prescribed medications;
• Reach and maintain a healthy weight;
• Add physical activity to your day;
• Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol;
• Stop smoking.
For more information on diabetic eye disease, financial assistance for eye care, and how you can maintain healthy vision, go to http://www.nei.nih.gov/diabetes, or call NEI at 301-496-5248.
Plan for the end
Eldercare Locator has launched its 11th annual "Home for the Holidays" campaign to encourage families to have "the talk" — that is, the "end-of-life" care talk.
According to a survey by The Conversation Project, nine of 10 Americans want to have this discussion, but only about one-third of that number have actually done so.
For information on how to get going on this topic and essential information, go to http://www.eldercare.gov or call 1-800-677-1116.
Suggested topics include lists of doctors, health conditions, medical records, durable power of attorney trusts, advance directives, wills, and how to locate important financial documents.
End-of-life topics include naming one person to make final decisions, the values around quality of life and care, and types of desired medical treatment.
Elizabeth Peters, a certified hypnotherapist and anger management specialist, is opening an office in Williamsburg. Her solo practice focuses on several different areas: pain management, particularly fibromyalgia, weight loss, smoking cessation and past life regression.
Peters, who formerly practiced in Newton, N.J., has also done a lot of work with anxiety disorders and phobias. Most are self-referrals, she said, but she has also worked with children referred by other clinicians.
Peters described hypnotherapy as "getting people to a state in which they're hyper-focused but never out of control." She likens it to a person's state of consciousness when watching TV —- you're not thinking "it's not real" or that there's a camera crew, etc., but if someone asks you to get a drink, you're able to do so. "The conscious mind is distracted enough that the subconscious mind is clicking in," she said. For example, when you say you only want to eat 1,500 calories a day and you're eating 2,500 calories, that's not your conscious mind, she explained.
The typical number of sessions ranges from two (quitting smoking) to six (pain), or as many as 10 for phobias, depending how long the person has suffered. Peters typically allows three sessions for weight loss with a six-month follow-up.
To reach Peters, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 908-507-5819;
1769 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg.
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