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Diabetes and Eyesight


Are you aware that diabetes is the primary agent of impaired vision in adults aged 20-74 years? If not, you are not alone. In the past four years alone, over four million adults in North America afflicted with diabetes were tested positive for blindness caused by diabetes. Out of those tested, seventy thousand were afflicted with advanced diabetic retinopathy, which may result in a complete loss of vision.


Should everyone be tested for diabetic retinopathy?


To start, those living with diabetes are at risk. The best method to learn if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your eye doctor perform an eye exam once a year. The longer the affliction remains unchecked, the greater the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Speedy treatment will go a long way in halting further loss.


Women who are expecting that are found to have diabetes have a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is important to schedule a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.


So why all the worry? Wouldn’t there be obvious symptoms of blindness?


The answer surprisingly is, not necessarily. There are many kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the acute phases are easily discernible. Advanced diabetes and macular edema are diabetes related diseases which result in severe sight loss. Both conditions can appear without obvious symptoms. This is why early discovery is essential to stopping any irreparable damage.


An extensive evaluation will seek out precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are several parts to this exam which will detect the tell-tale signs, such as a swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, leaky blood vessels, and damaged nerve tissue. What is involved in a comprehensive eye exam?


The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how accurately you can see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity exams given by your eye doctor, should you need glasses.


While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to exaggerate your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, it can stop deterioration in your vision later on. This method makes it feasible to examine a larger part of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for unique symptoms that show the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort could save your eye sight.


When it comes to your eye sight, even a little hesitation might cause irreparable deterioration. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to plan an eye examination with your eye doctor without further delay.