Are you aware that diabetes is the dominant cause of impaired vision in adults of all ages? If not, you are not alone. In the past four years alone, over 4 million individuals in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Out of those tested, 70,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to a complete loss of vision.
While not everyone is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is essential to understand the connection between the disease and loss of sight.
Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the disease remains unchecked, the stronger the danger of diabetes related blindness. Quick treatment is necessary to halting further damage.
Pregnant women that have been afflicted with diabetes have a greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.
You may wonder why all the panic? Wouldn't you notice if you were losing your sight?
The answer surprisingly is no. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are obvious. Progressive diabetes and macular edema are diabetes-related diseases which result in severe vision deterioration. Both conditions may develop without noticeable signs. This is a reason that early recognition is the key to preventing irreversible damage.
A complete examination will seek out symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple steps to this exam which will detect the standard clues, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the buildup of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a comprehensive eye exam?
Firstly, you will get an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart that is used to check how accurately you can see at different distances. This is similar to the visual acuity checks given by your eye doctor to see if you need corrective lenses.
While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to widen the size of your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, it can save you blindness in 10-15 years. This procedure makes it feasible to see a larger part of the interior portion of your eyes to check for specific signs that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort may save your ability to see.
Take care of your eye sight. Even a little hesitation can lead to irreversible deterioration. If you are diabetic, it is necessary to plan a vision examination with your optometrist every year.