From the American Diabetes Association:
Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
Diabetes can affect the eye in many different ways. Specifically, eye problems include cataract formation, glaucoma, and retinopathy (damage of the retina). Over 7 million people have diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of blindness in the working aged population. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy, in its early stages, can only be diagnosed by a complete eye exam. By the time a patient notices vision changes, the disease may not be able to be reversed even with prompt treatment; although, the majority of severe vision loss can be prevented by early screening, treatment, and follow-up.