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Home » What's New » November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is the main precursor to vision loss among adults between age twenty and seventy-four. In the past four years alone, over 4 million adults in North America living with diabetes were subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Of this number, 70,000 suffered from advanced diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to untreatable blindness.

While not every individual is at risk of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to understand the relation between the disease and loss of sight.

To start, those living with diabetes are at risk. One method to find out if you have diabetic retinopathy is to have your optometrist perform an eye exam regularly. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the stronger the risk of diabetes related blindness. Speedy treatment will go a long way in halting further damage.

Pregnant women that have been found to have gestational diabetes have a stronger possibility of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is important to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.

Maybe you are wondering, why all the concern? Wouldn't there be symptoms if you were losing your sight?

The answer surprisingly is no. There are many kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute phases are noticeable. Advanced diabetes might have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in serious vision loss. Both conditions can appear without any noticeable symptoms. This is why early detection is the key to stopping any long term injury.

A thorough analysis will look for indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are various phases to this exam which will expose the tell-tale signs, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, and leaky blood vessels. Want to know what are the steps in a complete eye test?

Firstly, you will get a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to check how correctly you can see at varying distances. This is the same as the visual acuity tests given by your optometrist should you need glasses.

While giving a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils. Though not a favorite of the squeamish, it can stop deterioration in your vision in subsequent years. This method makes it feasible to monitor more of the interior portion of your eyes to look for unique symptoms that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort could save your ability to see.

It is important to value your health. Even a little complacency might cause serious loss. If you are diabetic, it is important to book an eye examination with an optometrist today.