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Diabetes: A Leading Cause of Vision Loss

Diabetes is the main causal agent of blindness of men and women aged 20-74 years. In the past four years alone, over four million men and women in North America afflicted with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, seventy thousand were afflicted with acute diabetic retinopathy, which can result in a complete blindness.

The big question is, how crucial is it to get tested for blindness cause by diabetes?

Having diabetes is the first risk factor. The best method to find out if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your optometrist give you a complete eye test once a year. The longer the disease remains undiagnosed, the greater the danger of diabetes related vision loss. Timely treatment is the key to halting further deterioration.

Pregnant women that are afflicted with diabetes have a better likelihood of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

You may be curious as to why all the worry? Wouldn't there be obvious symptoms of blindness?

The truth is, not necessarily. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute phases are obvious. Advanced diabetes might have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in extreme blindness. Both conditions can appear without any obvious symptoms. This is why early recognition is important to preventing irreversible deterioration.

A thorough assessment will look for precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are distinct phases to this exam which will expose the standard indicators, such as leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. What is included in a complete eye test?

First of all you will undergo a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to measure how correctly you can see at various distances. This is just like the visual acuity tests given by optometrists to see if you need corrective lenses.

To give a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to widen your pupils. Though not a favorite of the squeamish, it can save you deterioration in your sight in subsequent years. This step makes it feasible to monitor more of the inside of your eyes to look for specific clues that reveal the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The cursory discomfort will probably save your ability to see.

Regularly monitor your health. Even a little laziness can lead to irreversible damage. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to plan a vision examination with your optometrist every year.