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Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Vision Loss

Diabetes is the number one causal factor of blindness for men and women between age twenty and seventy-four. In just the last four years, over four million individuals in North America living with diabetes were diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Out of those tested, 70,000 suffered from advanced diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to a serious blindness.

While not everyone is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to know the link 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 disease goes undiagnosed, the greater the danger of diabetes caused blindness. Quick treatment will go a long way in halting further damage.

Women who are pregnant that are diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes have a higher risk of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

So why all the panic? Wouldn't there be tell tale symptoms if you were going blind?

Well the truth is no. There are different kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced phases are noticeable. Proliferative diabetes might have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious sight loss. Both conditions can develop without noticeable signs. This is a reason that early recognition is crucial to stopping any irreparable loss.

A comprehensive assessment will look for signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are various parts to this exam which will show the tell-tale signs, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is involved in a complete eye test?

The eye doctor will perform an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart which is used to measure how well you see at various distances. This is identical to the visual acuity checks given by your optometrist, to see if you require glasses.

To give a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to amplify your pupils. Not a particularly beloved test by the faint of heart, but it can save you a lot of heartache in 10-15 years. This practice makes it easier to check a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to identify for distinct signs that show the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort will probably save your ability to see.

Regularly monitor your eye sight, even a little laziness may cause irreversible damage. If you are living with diabetes, it is essential to plan a vision examination with an optometrist without further delay.

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