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Home » What's New » Awareness of Diabetes and Blindness For National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is the number one cause of impaired sight in men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. As of 2008, over 4 million people in North America afflicted with diabetes were found to have blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can result in irreversible vision loss.

While not every individual is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to know the relation between the disease and vision loss.

Having diabetes is the first risk factor. One method to learn if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your optometrist give you a complete eye test once a year. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the stronger the danger of diabetes caused vision loss. Speedy treatment will go a long way in preventing further loss.

Women who are expecting that have been diagnosed with diabetes have a higher likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is important to schedule a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.

You may be curious as to why all the panic? Won't there be tell tale symptoms if you were going blind?

The truth is, not always. There are different kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes might have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in severe vision loss. Both afflictions can manifest with no obvious symptoms. This is why early detection is crucial to halting any lasting damage.

A complete assessment will seek out evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are several phases to this exam which will expose the standard clues, including leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. What is entailed in a comprehensive eye test?

The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart that is used to assess how correctly you can see at different distances. This is similar to the visual acuity exams given by your optometrist, should you need glasses.

While giving a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to dilate the size of your pupils. Although it is not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, it can help you avoid a lot of heartache in subsequent years. This measure makes it possible to examine a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to look for specific clues that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort may save your ability to see.

When it comes to your eye sight, even a little hesitation might cause serious deterioration. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is important to plan a vision examination with an eye doctor every year.