November 07, 2012 Wednesday - updated 08:54 AM PT

5th Avenue Eye Center Observes Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Old Bridge, United States ( - November 07, 2012)  

“Many of us are aware of the fact that diabetes makes us more susceptible to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease,” said Dr. Ilan Cohen, a board certified ophthalmologist, corneal specialist and a leader in LASIK and cataract surgery. “However, many people are unaware that diabetes can cause very serious eye disease, including blindness, if left untreated.”


Dr. Cohen, director of 5th Avenue Eye Center, serves patients throughout the Tri-state area with his state-of-the-art New York & New Jersey LASIK and cataract surgical techniques. In honor of Diabetic Eye Disease Month, Dr. Cohen is committed to educating Americans about the significant impact of diabetes on eye health and the strategies for maintaining healthy vision.


According to Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute, an estimated 7 million Americans are unaware that they have diabetes, and Hispanics and African Americans are at a higher risk for developing the disease. More than 7.6 million people age 40 and older already suffer from diabetic retinopathy, an alarming increase of 89% since 2002. Nearly 24,000 people each year completely lose their vision as a result of diabetes, but fewer than 50% of people realize that there are usually no warning signs or pain until the problem becomes severe.


“Diabetic retinopathy, one of the most serious disorders affecting the retina, is not the only eye disease caused by diabetes,” said Dr. Cohen. “High blood sugar levels put a lot of stress on blood vessels throughout the body, including the blood vessels in the eye. This makes diabetic patients 30 times more likely to develop glaucoma and cataracts than the general population. To prevent vision loss, regular eye exams are essential.”


“The eye is the only place in the body that a doctor can see blood vessels without cutting through the skin,” Dr. Cohen continues. “An ophthalmologist will dilate the eyes and examine them for early warning signs of problems. He or she can develop a treatment plan for maintaining good eyesight before the diabetic eye disease reaches an advanced stage. Early detection is very, very important.”


Patients with diabetic eye disease have several treatment options. Glaucoma can be treated with medications, eye drops and laser procedures. Cataracts can be removed and replaced with artificial lenses that will restore clear vision. Diabetic retinopathy treatments include laser surgery and vitrectomy, the removal of vitreous gel, blood or scar tissue from the center of the eye. The National Eye Institute regularly conducts and supports research that seeks better ways to detect, treat, and prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.


“People who suffer from diabetes can help slow the progression of diabetic eye diseases by controlling their blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, and avoiding alcohol and smoking,” said Dr. Cohen. “The most important thing is to see an ophthalmologist for an eye examination, particularly if there is blurred or double vision, eye pressure or pain, a noticeable halo around lights, or dark spots or flashes of light in the vision. Huge strides have been made in treating diabetic eye diseases and vision loss can often be stopped or reversed. However, the best results are achieved when vision is still normal. The earlier a problem is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis.”


5th Avenue Eye Center is a comprehensive vision center with locations in with locations in Old Bridge, New Jersey as well as the Manhattan and Queens boroughs of New York City. Dr. Cohen, a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, was fellowship trained in corneal and cataract surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. His innovative techniques and ability to correct other surgeons’ mistakes has earned him international media attention on CBS, CNBC, and FOX News. Dr. Cohen teaches other surgeons at the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.


For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen, call 5th Avenue Eye Center at (732) 679-6100. (212) 764-2020, or visit


Media Contact:

Ilan Cohen MD
5th Avenue Eye Center | Ilan Cohen MD
Old Bridge, NJ

Phone: 212 764 2020
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