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Diabetes is the chief agent of blindness in men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. Since 2008, over four million people in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this number, 70,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to a serious vision loss.
While not every individual is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is important to understand the connection between the disease and vision loss.
To start, adults living with diabetes are at risk. The best method to learn if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your eye doctor test your vision once a year. The longer the affliction remains unmonitored, the stronger the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Speedy treatment will go a long way in halting further damage.
Women who are expecting that are found to have gestational diabetes have a stronger risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.
Maybe you are wondering, why all the panic? Wouldn’t there be obvious symptoms if you were losing your sight?
The truth is, not always. There are many types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the advanced phases are obvious. Advanced diabetes might have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in serious sight loss. Both afflictions can develop without any noticeable signs. This is why early detection is critical to halting any irreparable injury.
A comprehensive test will seek out signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are several stages to this exam which will expose the standard indicators, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a complete eye exam?
Firstly, you will get a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to check how accurately you see at various distances. This is the same as the visual acuity tests given by your optometrist, should you need corrective lenses.
In a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. Though not a favorite of most people, it can save you loss of vision in 10-15 years. This method makes it easier to check a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to look for specific clues that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort could save your eye sight.
It is important to value your sight. Even a little hesitation can lead to irreversible loss. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is essential to schedule an eye test with an optometrist every year.