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Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Blindness

Did you know that diabetes is the number one precursor to blindness among men and women between age twenty and seventy-four? In the past four years alone, over four million individuals in North America living with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which can result in a serious loss of vision.

While not everyone is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to understand the connection between the disease and vision loss.

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 undiagnosed, the stronger the risk of diabetes related vision loss. Timely treatment is the key to halting further loss.

Expectant mothers that have been diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes have a greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to undergo a complete dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.

You may ask yourself why all the panic? Won't there be symptoms of sight deterioration?

Well the answer shockingly is, not necessarily. There are several kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute stages are obvious. Progressive diabetes might have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in severe vision loss. Both conditions can develop without any obvious symptoms. This is a reason that early discovery is the key to saving yourself from irreversible injury.

An extensive analysis will detect precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are distinct steps to this exam which will reveal the typical indicators, including leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. Want to know what are the steps in a complete eye exam?

First of all you will undergo a visual acuity examination by means of an eye chart which is used to check how well you are able to see at different distances. This is similar to the visual acuity examinations given by your optometrist, should you need glasses.

In a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to amplify your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by most people, it can stop a loss of autonomy later on. This step makes it easier to monitor a larger part of the inside of your eyes to check for distinct clues that imply the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort will probably save your ability to see.

Take care of your sight. Even a little laziness might cause severe damage. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is crucial to plan a vision examination with an optometrist without further delay.