Are you aware that diabetes is the dominant 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 living with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Of this number, seventy thousand had severe diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to total loss of vision.
Exactly, should everyone be examined for diabetic retinopathy?
An existing diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the disease goes unmonitored, the greater the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Quick treatment is necessary to halting further loss.
Expectant mothers that are diagnosed with diabetes have a better likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to have a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.
So why all the panic? Wouldn't it be obvious signs of sight deterioration?
Well the answer surprisingly is no. There are many forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes may have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious vision deterioration. Both afflictions may manifest without any noticeable signs. This is why early discovery is the key to preventing long term loss.
A thorough test will check for precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are several parts to this exam which will reveal the typical signs, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the buildup of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a comprehensive eye exam?
Firstly, you will get a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart which is used to assess how correctly you see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity examinations given by optometrists to see if you need glasses.
To give a dilated eye exam, the optometrist puts drops in your eyes to exaggerate your pupils. Though not a favorite of the faint of heart, it can save you a lot of heartache further down the road. This step makes it feasible to monitor more of the interior portion of your eyes to check for unique signs that indicate the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort will probably save your vision.
It is important to value your health. Even a little hesitation can lead to serious damage. If you are living with diabetes, it is essential to plan a vision test with your eye doctor once a year without fail.