Diabetes is the main cause of impaired vision of men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. Since 2008, over 4 million individuals in North America living with diabetes were found to have blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, seventy thousand had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, would lead to irreversible vision loss.
So, should everyone get examined for blindness cause by diabetes?
Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. The best way to find out if you have diabetes related vision loss is to have your optometrist perform an eye exam once a year. The longer the affliction remains undiagnosed, the greater the danger of diabetes caused vision loss. Timely treatment will go a long way in halting further damage.
Expectant mothers that are diagnosed with diabetes have a stronger possibility of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is important to have a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.
You may wonder why all the concern? Wouldn't it be obvious of blindness?
Well the answer surprisingly is, not necessarily. There are different forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the advanced phases are obvious. Progressive diabetes may have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in extreme vision deterioration. Both afflictions may appear with no noticeable signs. This is why early recognition is central to saving yourself from irreparable damage.
A thorough examination will seek out evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are several phases to this exam which will reveal the standard symptoms, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the buildup of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a comprehensive eye test?
The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how correctly you are able to see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity exams given by optometrists, if you need glasses.
In a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. It is not a particularly beloved test by most patients, but it can prevent a lot of heartache later on. This measure makes it easier to see more of the inside of your eyes to identify for specific symptoms that reveal the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort may save your vision.
When it comes to your sight, even a little laziness might cause severe deterioration. If you are living with diabetes, it is of the utmost importance to schedule a vision test with your eye doctor without further delay.