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Home » News » Diabetes and Vision

Diabetes and Vision

Diabetes is the leading causal agent of vision loss among men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. Since 2008, over four million people in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetes related blindness. Of this group, seventy thousand suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which can result in a complete vision loss.

Exactly, should everyone get tested for diabetic retinopathy?

Firstly, those diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at risk. The best way to learn if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your optometrist test your vision yearly. The longer the disease remains unchecked, the greater the risk of diabetes related blindness. Quick treatment is the key to halting further deterioration.

Expectant mothers that have been found to have diabetes have a higher possibility of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.

So why all the concern? Wouldn't there be symptoms of sight deterioration?

Well the answer surprisingly is, not always. There are many types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes and macular edema are diabetes-related diseases which result in severe sight loss. Both conditions can appear without any obvious signs. This is a reason that early diagnosis is crucial to preventing irreversible deterioration.

A thorough test will look for signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are several steps to this exam which will show the standard signs, such as a swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, leaky blood vessels, and damaged nerve tissue. What is involved in a comprehensive vision exam?

The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart that is used to measure how well you can see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity tests given by your optometrist if you need corrective lenses.

In a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to amplify the size of your pupils. Though not a favorite of the faint of heart, it can prevent a lot of heartache in 10-15 years. This practice makes it feasible to see a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for specific signs that reveal the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort may save your eye sight.

Take care of your health. Even a little laziness might cause severe damage. If you are living with diabetes, it is of the utmost importance to plan an eye test with your eye doctor without further delay.