The National Institute of Diabetes estimates that more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. November is Diabetes awareness month. Doctor of Optometry Nathaniel Graham says eye exams every 6 to 12 months are critical for patients with diabetes.

Dr. Graham, Mankato Clinic, says, “We look at the iris, the lens, optic nerve and retina which are all subject to issues from high blood sugars.”

Dr. Graham says dilation gives them the best chance at catching problems early.

Dr. Graham says the condition is not painful, but can lead to some loss of vision. The good news, it can be controlled.

He says, “If blood sugars are well controlled, problems are less likely to occur.”