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Home » News » Awareness of Diabetes and Vision Loss For National Diabetes Month

Awareness of Diabetes and Vision Loss For National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is the primary agent of impaired sight among adults between age twenty and seventy-four. As of 2008, over 4 million people in North America suffering from diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 were afflicted with advanced diabetic retinopathy, which may result in irreversible vision loss.

Exactly, should everyone be tested for blindness cause by diabetes?

To start, those diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at risk. The best way to find out if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your eye doctor give you a complete eye test once a year. The longer the disease remains unmonitored, the greater the risk of diabetes related blindness. Timely treatment will go a long way in preventing further deterioration.

Women who are pregnant that are found to have pregnancy-related diabetes have a higher possibility of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to schedule a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

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

Well the answer shockingly is, not always. There are different sorts of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the severe phases are noticeable. Advanced diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in severe vision deterioration. Both afflictions can develop without noticeable signs. This is a reason that early diagnosis is the key to halting any irreversible damage.

A comprehensive examination will search for evidence of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple phases to this exam which will reveal the standard clues, 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 eye exam?

The eye doctor will perform an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how correctly you see at different distances. This is similar to the visual acuity tests given by your eye doctor to see if you require corrective lenses.

To give a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to exaggerate your pupils. Although it is not a favorite of most people, this step can prevent deterioration in your vision in 10-15 years. Dilating the eyes makes it possible to monitor a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to look for specific symptoms that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort will probably save your vision.

It is important to value your sight. Even a little complacency might cause irreversible deterioration. If you are living with diabetes, it is crucial to plan a vision examination with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

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Friday and Saturday: Early appts available on request

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Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Hung D. Mac, OD & Staff