Are you aware that diabetes is the leading agent of vision loss of adults aged 20-74 years? As of 2008, over four million people in North America living with diabetes were tested positive for diabetes related blindness. Out of those tested, 70,000 were afflicted with severe diabetic retinopathy, which can result in a complete blindness.
While not every individual is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is good to understand the link between the disease and blindness.
To start, adults diagnosed with diabetes are at risk. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the affliction goes unmonitored, the stronger the danger of diabetes caused blindness. Timely treatment is vital in terms of preventing further damage.
Women who are pregnant that are found to have diabetes have a higher risk of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.
Maybe you are wondering, why all the worry? Wouldn't there be tell tale symptoms if you were losing your sight?
The answer shockingly is no. There are many types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe phases are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in extreme blindness. Both conditions can appear without any obvious symptoms. This is why early detection is central to stopping any irreparable deterioration.
A thorough evaluation will check for indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are several parts to this exam which will detect the tell-tale signs, including a swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, leaky blood vessels, and damaged nerve tissue. 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 determine how correctly you are able to see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity exams given by optometrists to see if you require glasses.
In a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to exaggerate the size of your pupils. Though not a favorite of the squeamish, it can save you loss of vision in 10-15 years. This measure makes it feasible to check a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for distinct symptoms that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort will probably save your eye sight.
It is important to value your sight. Even a little hesitation can cause irreparable deterioration. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is necessary to schedule a vision exam with an eye doctor as soon as possible.