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Diabetes and Vision

Did you know that diabetes is the primary cause of blindness for men and women between age twenty and seventy-four? If not, you are not alone. According to statistics of the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, between 2005 and 2008, over four million individuals over the age of 39 had diabetes related vision loss. Of this group, 655,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to a serious vision loss.

While not every individual is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is good to understand the relationship between the disease and loss of sight.

An existing diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. One method to find out if you have diabetes related vision loss is to have your optometrist test your vision regularly. The longer the disease remains undiagnosed, the stronger the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Quick treatment is vital in terms of halting further deterioration.

Women who are expecting that have been found to have gestational diabetes have a stronger risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.

If you are at risk it is important to have regular eye exams even if you do not sense a loss of vision. There are different forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute stages have obvious symptoms. Progressive diabetes may have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in extreme sight loss. Both conditions may appear without noticeable symptoms. This is why early detection is essential to stopping any irreparable loss.

A comprehensive test will look for symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. There are individual parts to this exam which will reveal the typical 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 entailed in a comprehensive vision exam?

First of all you will undergo an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how accurately you are able to see at varying distances. This is identical to the visual acuity exams given by optometrists, if you need glasses.

While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to enlarge the size of your pupils. This procedure makes it feasible to check a larger section of the inside of your eyes to look for distinct symptoms that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort could save your eye sight.

It is important to evaluate your sight regularly. Even a little complacency can lead to serious loss. If you are diabetic, it is of the utmost importance to book an eye examination with an eye doctor today.