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Diabetes: A Leading Cause of Blindness

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Did you know that diabetes is the main causal factor of vision loss in adults between age twenty and seventy-four? As of 2008, over four million men and women in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Out of those tested, 70,000 suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to a complete blindness.

The big question is, how important is it to get examined for diabetic retinopathy?

Firstly, adults living with diabetes are at risk. One way to find out if you have diabetes related vision loss is to have your eye care professional perform an eye exam yearly. The longer the affliction remains undiagnosed, the greater the risk of diabetes related blindness. Speedy treatment is the key to preventing further deterioration.

Women who are pregnant that have been found to have diabetes have a better likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to undergo a complete dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.

Maybe you are wondering, why all the concern? Wouldn't there be tell tale symptoms of blindness?

Well the answer shockingly is, not always. There are many types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute phases are obvious. Advanced diabetes may have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious sight loss. Both afflictions can manifest without any noticeable signs. This is why early discovery is essential to preventing long term loss.

An extensive examination will discern symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple phases to this exam which will expose the standard clues, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a comprehensive vision exam?

Firstly, you will get a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart which is used to measure how accurately you are able to see at various distances. This is identical to the visual acuity examinations given by optometrists, should you require corrective lenses.

While giving a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to enlarge the size of your pupils. Though not a favorite of the faint of heart, it can save you deterioration in your sight further down the road. This method makes it feasible to see more of the interior portion of your eyes to look for unique symptoms that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort may save your vision.

Take care of your eye sight. Even a little laziness might cause irreversible loss. If you are living with diabetes, it is important to book an eye test with an eye doctor as soon as possible.