Did you know that diabetes is the chief causal factor of blindness of adults of all ages? In the past four years alone, over four million men and women in North America living with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to total vision loss.
While not every individual is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is good to know the relationship between the disease and blindness.
Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam yearly. The longer the disease goes unchecked, the greater the danger of diabetes related blindness. Speedy treatment is necessary to preventing further deterioration.
Pregnant women that have been afflicted with gestational diabetes have a stronger likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.
You may be curious as to why all the panic? Wouldn't you notice if you were losing your sight?
The truth is, not necessarily. There are several types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced stages are obvious. Proliferative diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in extreme blindness. Both afflictions may develop without noticeable signs. This is a reason that early recognition is essential to saving yourself from irreversible loss.
A thorough assessment will detect indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are individual stages to this exam which will show the standard clues, such as leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. What is entailed in a complete vision exam?
First of all you will undergo a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart which is used to check how well you can see at various distances. This is identical to the visual acuity tests given by optometrists, if you require glasses.
While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to widen your pupils. Not a favorite of most people, but it can save you deterioration in your vision in subsequent years. This procedure makes it feasible to examine a larger part of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for distinct signs that indicate the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort may save your ability to see.
Regularly monitor your health. Even a little complacency can cause serious deterioration. If you are living with diabetes, it is important to book an eye exam with an optometrist once a year without fail.