November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which is important to eye doctors because Diabetes is actually very tightly connected to ocular health. If you have diabetes you are more at risk for cataracts. Diabetic patients are five times more likely to experience cataracts and also at an earlier age than non-diabetic patients. A cataract does not usually damage the eye, but rather gradually impedes vision as the eye’s lens becomes cloudy, much like glass being frosted over. The first step in preventing and correcting cataracts for you will be to consult with your physician to make sure your diabetes is under control. Then, as you are at an increased risk for cataracts at an earlier age, be cognizant of early warning signs and symptoms such as difficulty driving at night, difficulty judging distances and depth, if you are bothered by glare from sun or lights from cars, a loss of colors, or if you have trouble seeing, even with glasses. If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment to talk with your ophthalmologist. He or she can properly diagnose your situation, and can tell you if cataract surgery is required. Thankfully, cataract surgery has come a long way, and we’ve seen some tremendous improvements in just the last few years. Most surgeons today can perform cataract surgery in less than 15 minutes using topical anesthesia, and often no stitches are required. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are brought on by cataracts, it’s better to act sooner than later, consult with you you ophthalmologist on the best plan for treatment, and if you are a diabetic, b e sure to pay extra close attention to if you are showing any signs!