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Diabetes and Eyesight

Diabetes is the leading causal factor of impaired sight of men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. In the past four years alone, over four million individuals in North America suffering from diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetes related blindness. Out of those tested, 70,000 suffered from severe diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to untreatable vision loss.

While not every individual is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is good to know the link between the disease and loss of sight.

Firstly, those diagnosed with diabetes are at risk. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam yearly. The longer the affliction goes unchecked, the greater the risk of diabetes caused vision loss. Speedy treatment is necessary to halting further loss.

Pregnant women that are afflicted with pregnancy-related diabetes have a higher likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is important to undergo a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.

You may wonder why all the concern? Won't there be obvious symptoms of blindness?

The truth is, not necessarily. There are several types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the advanced stages are easily discernible. Advanced diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in extreme vision deterioration. Both afflictions can manifest with no obvious symptoms. This is a reason that early diagnosis is central to halting any permanent damage.

A comprehensive assessment will check for evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are various parts to this exam which will expose the tell-tale clues, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is involved in a complete vision exam?

Firstly, you will get a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to check how correctly you see at varying distances. This is the same as the visual acuity exams given by your eye doctor, should you require glasses.

In a dilated eye exam, the optometrist puts drops in your eyes to exaggerate the size of your pupils. Not a favorite of the squeamish, but it can stop a lot of heartache in subsequent years. This step makes it easier to examine more of the inside of your eyes to look for specific clues that show the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort could save your ability to see.

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


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