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Diabetes: A Leading Cause of Vision Loss


Did you know that diabetes is the number one causal factor of impaired sight among men and women between age twenty and seventy-four? In the past four years alone, over four million people in North America living with diabetes were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 had severe diabetic retinopathy, which may result in a complete vision loss.


While not every individual is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is essential to understand the connection between the disease and blindness.


Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. One way to find out if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your optometrist test your vision yearly. The longer the disease remains undiagnosed, the greater the risk of diabetes related vision loss. Quick treatment is necessary to halting further deterioration.


Women who are expecting that are afflicted with gestational diabetes have a better likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to schedule a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.


You may ask yourself why all the panic? Wouldn’t there be tell tale symptoms if you were going blind?


The answer surprisingly is, not necessarily. There are different forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute stages are obvious. Advanced diabetes might have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in severe vision loss, which may appear without obvious signs. This is why early discovery is the key to preventing lasting loss.


An extensive analysis will detect evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are individual parts to this exam which will show the standard signs, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. Want to know what are the steps in a comprehensive vision exam?


The eye doctor will perform an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart that is used to assess how well you can see at varying distances. This is similar to the visual acuity tests given by optometrists, if you require corrective lenses.


To give a dilated eye exam, the optometrist puts drops in your eyes to amplify the size of your pupils. Though not a favorite of most people, it can save you a loss of autonomy later on. This measure makes it possible to monitor a larger section of the inside of your eyes to look for specific signs that indicate the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort will probably save your eye sight.


It is important to value your sight. Even a little hesitation can cause severe damage. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative to schedule a vision exam with your eye doctor once a year without fail.

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