Did you know that diabetes is the main cause of blindness among adults between age twenty and seventy-four? If not, you are not alone. As of 2008, over 4 million people in North America suffering from diabetes were tested positive for blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to irreversible loss of vision.
So, should everyone get tested for diabetic retinopathy?
Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. The best method to learn if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your optometrist perform an eye exam yearly. The longer the disease goes unchecked, the greater the danger of diabetes caused vision loss. Quick treatment will go a long way in halting further loss.
Women who are expecting that are found to have pregnancy-related diabetes have a higher risk of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.
So why all the worry? Won't it be obvious if you were losing your sight?
Well the truth is, not necessarily. There are different kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute stages are easily discernible. Proliferative diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in severe blindness. Both afflictions can appear with no obvious signs. This is a reason that early recognition is essential to halting any long term deterioration.
A comprehensive analysis will check for evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are individual stages to this exam which will detect the typical clues, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a complete eye test?
First of all you will undergo a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart which is used to check how accurately you are able to see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity examinations given by your eye doctor to see if you need corrective lenses.
While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by the squeamish, it can save you a loss of autonomy further down the road. This procedure makes it possible to monitor a larger part of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for unique clues that show the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort may save your ability to see.
Take care of your sight. Even a little laziness can lead to severe deterioration. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is crucial to book a vision examination with an optometrist as soon as possible.