November is World Diabetes Month, with World Diabetes Day next Wednesday on 14th November.
The theme for this year and next year is ‘The Family and Diabetes’.
The international Diabetes Federation (IDF) website explains that a two-year timeframe has been chosen to best facilitate planning, development, promotion and participation. Materials and actions that IDF will develop over the two years of the campaign will aim to:
· Raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected.
· Promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.
World Diabetes Day was jointly introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation and was introduced due to concern over an escalation in the number of people with diabetes. It is celebrated on the 14th November because it marks the birthday of one of the men who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting.
Each World Diabetes Day famous buildings and monuments all over the world are lit up in blue. This powerful and striking image helps to spread the message about World Diabetes Day to diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Famous buildings that have been lit up in the past on World Diabetes Day include the Sears Tower, the London Eye and Brisbane City Hall.
To find out more about World Diabetes Day and month visit https://www.worlddiabetesday.org/ and https://www.diabetes.co.uk/World-Diabetes-Day.html
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness and can lead to a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetes can affect your eye in a number of ways, although not everyone who has diabetes develops an eye condition. For people with diabetes, regular eye tests and diabetic retinal screenings are essential.
It’s important that the changes diabetes causes in the eye are picked up early because if treatment can be given at the right time, it can help prevent sight loss.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most serious eye condition associated with diabetes and occurs when the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye become blocked and leak. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy but in some cases this condition will lead to severe vision impairment.
Advice provided on RNIB’s website to reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or help to stop it from getting worse, is as follows:
· Control your blood glucose level (also known as blood sugar level).
· Tightly control your blood pressure.
· Control your cholesterol levels.
· Keep fit and maintain a healthy weight.
· Give up smoking. Nerve damage, kidney and cardiovascular disease are more likely in smokers with Diabetes. Smoking increases blood pressure and raises blood sugar levels, which makes it harder to control Diabetes.
· Attend regular retinal screening.
There is also treatment available for diabetic retinopathy if it is picked up early enough. For further information about diabetic retinopathy and the support available, visit https://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health/eye-conditions/diabetes-related-eye-conditions
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.