Did you know that diabetes is the main precursor to blindness for adults of all ages? If not, you are not alone. As of 2008, over four million men and women in North America afflicted with diabetes were found to have diabetes related blindness. Of this number, seventy thousand suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to irreversible loss of vision.
The big question is, how necessary is it to be tested for blindness cause by diabetes?
Having diabetes is the first risk factor. The best method to learn if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your eye doctor give you a complete eye test yearly. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the greater the danger of diabetes related vision loss. Quick treatment is the key to preventing further deterioration.
Expectant mothers that have been found to have gestational diabetes have a better likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is important to schedule a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.
Maybe you are wondering, why all the worry? Wouldn't there be obvious symptoms of blindness?
Well the truth is no. There are many kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced stages are obvious. Proliferative diabetes may have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious blindness. Both conditions can manifest without any noticeable symptoms. This is a reason that early discovery is the key to halting any permanent deterioration.
A comprehensive test will seek out indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are various stages to this exam which will show the tell-tale clues, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. Want to know what are the steps in a comprehensive vision exam?
Firstly, you will get a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to assess how correctly you are able to see at different distances. This is identical to the visual acuity checks given by your optometrist, to see if you need glasses.
In a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to exaggerate the size of your pupils. Even though it is not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, it can stop loss of vision further down the road. This method makes it easier to check a larger part of the inside of your eyes to identify for specific clues that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort will probably save your eye sight.
Regularly monitor your sight. Even a little hesitation might cause serious damage. If you are living with diabetes, it is of the utmost importance to schedule a vision exam with your eye doctor today.