Diabetes is the primary precursor to blindness for men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. In the past four years alone, over four million men and women in North America living with diabetes were diagnosed with diabetes related blindness. Out of those tested, seventy thousand were afflicted with advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to total vision loss.
While not everyone is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is essential to be aware of the relationship between the disease and loss of sight.
To start, those diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at risk. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam once a year. The longer the affliction remains undiagnosed, the stronger the danger of diabetes caused vision loss. Speedy treatment is the key to halting further loss.
Women who are pregnant that are afflicted with pregnancy-related diabetes have a stronger likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to have a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.
So why all the worry? Won't there be symptoms if you were going blind?
Well the answer shockingly is, not always. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe phases are noticeable. Progressive diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in severe vision loss. Both afflictions can develop without any noticeable signs. This is a reason that early detection is critical to saving yourself from lasting injury.
A complete assessment will search for evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple phases to this exam which will show the tell-tale symptoms, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a complete eye exam?
First of all you will undergo a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart that is used to check how accurately you see at varying distances. This is identical to the visual acuity examinations given by your eye doctor, to see if you require corrective lenses.
In a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils. Though it is not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, it can stop a loss of autonomy in subsequent years. This measure makes it feasible to monitor a larger part of the inside of your eyes to look for specific symptoms that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort may save your ability to see.
It is important to value your sight, even a little complacency might cause serious loss. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is crucial to schedule an eye test with an eye doctor every year.