Diabetes is the chief causal factor of impaired sight among men and women aged 20-74 years. In just the last four years, over 4 million individuals in North America living with diabetes were tested positive for diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from advanced diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to a serious vision loss.
While not everyone is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to understand the link between the disease and loss of sight.
Firstly, individuals diagnosed with diabetes are at risk. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the affliction remains undiagnosed, the stronger the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Timely treatment is necessary to halting further deterioration.
Women who are expecting that have been diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes are at higher risk for diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to undergo a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.
So why all the worry? Wouldn’t it be obvious if you were losing your sight?
The truth is, not always. There are many sorts of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute stages are noticeable. Progressive diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused condition which results in severe vision deterioration but can appear without any noticeable signs. This is why early discovery is critical to preventing long term injury.
A thorough evaluation will seek out indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are various steps to this exam which will expose the tell-tale indicators, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a complete vision exam?
Firstly, you will get a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart which is used to determine how accurately you are able to see at varying distances. This is similar to the visual acuity examinations given by optometrists to see if you require corrective lenses.
While giving a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to enlarge the size of your pupils. Though not a favorite of the faint of heart, it can prevent deterioration in your vision in 10-15 years. This method makes it possible to monitor more of the inside of your eyes to look for unique symptoms that reveal the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort may save your ability to see.
Take care of your health. Even a little complacency can cause irreparable damage. If you are diabetic, it is necessary to schedule an eye test with an eye doctor as soon as possible.