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Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Vision Loss

Did you know that diabetes is the dominant causal agent of vision loss of men and women aged 20-74 years? In just the last four years, over 4 million men and women in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Out of those tested, seventy thousand had severe diabetic retinopathy, which can result in irreversible loss of vision.

While not everyone is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is good to know the relationship between the disease and blindness.

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 danger of diabetes related vision loss. Speedy treatment is the key to halting further damage.

Expectant mothers that have been diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes have a better likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is important to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

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

Well the answer shockingly is not always. There are many forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the advanced phases are noticeable. Proliferative diabetes may have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious blindness. Both conditions may develop without obvious signs. This is a reason that early discovery is crucial to preventing long term injury.

An extensive test will discern symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple parts to this exam which will reveal the typical indicators, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is entailed in a comprehensive eye test?

The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart which is used to measure how correctly you are able to see at different distances. This is just like the visual acuity examinations given by your eye doctor, should you require glasses.

During a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to amplify your pupils. Not a favorite of most people, but it can save you a loss of autonomy in 10-15 years. This measure makes it possible to see a larger part of the inside of your eyes to check for specific symptoms that reveal the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort may save your vision.

It is important to value your eye sight. Even a little laziness can cause serious damage. If you are diabetic, it is essential to book an eye examination with an eye doctor without further delay.