Diabetes currently affects more than five million people across Canada, and those who have been diagnosed understand that the chronic disease not only imposes a significant impact on their health, but their financial state as well.
In a report commissioned by the Canadian Diabetes Association, the costs directly associated with diabetes can range from $1,000 to $15,000 per year, including payment for treatment, care and rehabilitation.
Diabetes doesn’t only have personal financial consequences on those affected. The rapid rate in which Canadian’s are being diagnosed with diabetes has a costly impact on the workplace and economy as well. The economic burden of diabetes in Canada is expected to reach approximately 23 billion dollars by 2020, and a recent article by the Regina Leader Post indicated that diabetes can cost employers between $400 to $1,000 per person per year.
33 per cent of Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes and many are not aware of their condition. The longer diabetes goes undiagnosed, the greater the burden can become both financially and medically. Early diagnosis can be cost effective by reducing future medical complications. Diabetic retinopathy is currently the leading cause of one of these complications, legal blindness.
Doctors of Optometry along with the entire team of medical health professionals stress the importance of reducing risk of diabetes with lifestyle choices like maintaining a healthy body weight, consuming a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It’s ultimately important to book yearly comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams allow optometrists the ability to look at the tiny structures within the eyes, which can provide indicators of various health complications.