Diabetes is the primary precursor to vision loss in adults aged 20-74 years. Since 2008, over 4 million individuals in North America living with diabetes were diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, 70,000 were afflicted with advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can result in untreatable vision loss.
So, how important is it to be examined for diabetic retinopathy?
Having a diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the affliction goes unchecked, the greater the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Speedy treatment will go a long way in preventing further loss.
Pregnant women that are found to have gestational diabetes have a higher possibility of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.
You may wonder why all the concern? Wouldn’t there be tell tale symptoms if you were losing your sight?
Well the answer surprisingly is, not always. There are many sorts of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced stages are obvious. Progressive diabetes and macular edema are diabetes-related diseases which result in serious vision loss. Both conditions may appear without noticeable symptoms. This is a reason that early discovery is central to stopping any irreversible deterioration.
A thorough examination will search for precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are several phases to this exam which will expose the tell-tale symptoms, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a comprehensive vision exam?
Firstly, you will get a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how correctly you can see at varying distances. This is the same as the visual acuity examinations given by optometrists, should you need glasses.
To give a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to amplify your pupils. Though not a favorite of the squeamish, it can stop a lot of heartache in 10-15 years. This step makes it feasible to see more of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for distinct clues that indicate the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort could save your ability to see.
Regularly monitor your eye sight. Even a little complacency might cause irreversible damage. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to plan a vision exam with an eye doctor once a year without fail.