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Awareness of Diabetic Retinopathy and Blindness For National Diabetes Month

Are you aware that diabetes is the main causal factor of impaired sight in adults of all ages? If not, you are not alone. Since 2008, over 4 million men and women in North America suffering from diabetes were found to have blindness caused by diabetes. Out of those tested, seventy thousand suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which may result in irreversible blindness.

Exactly, should everyone be tested for diabetic retinopathy?

An existing diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. The best method to find out if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your eye doctor give you a complete eye test once a year. The longer the affliction goes unmonitored, the stronger the risk of diabetes caused vision loss. Quick treatment is the key to halting further damage.

Women who are pregnant that are found to have gestational diabetes have a stronger likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.

You may ask yourself why all the panic? Won't sight deterioration be obvious?

The truth is, not always. There are several forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are noticeable. Progressive diabetes might have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in extreme vision deterioration. Both conditions may appear with no noticeable signs. This is why early detection is important to preventing irreversible deterioration.

A thorough test will discern signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are distinct phases to this exam which will reveal the tell-tale signs, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a complete eye test?

Firstly, you will get a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart that is used to assess how accurately you can see at various distances. This is identical to the visual acuity tests given by your eye doctor, should you need corrective lenses.

In a dilated eye exam, the optometrist puts drops in your eyes to widen your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by most people, it can save you blindness in 10-15 years. This practice makes it easier to examine a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for distinct clues that show the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort may save your ability to see.

It is important to value your eye sight. Even a little hesitation can lead to serious loss. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is imperative to plan an eye examination with an optometrist today.


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