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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News » Diabetes: A Leading Cause of Blindness

Diabetes: A Leading Cause of Blindness

Are you aware that diabetes is the main agent of impaired sight among men and women between age twenty and seventy-four? If not, you are not alone. Since 2008, over 4 million adults in North America afflicted with diabetes were tested positive for diabetic retinopathy. Out of those tested, 70,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to untreatable vision loss.

Exactly, should everyone get examined for blindness cause by diabetes?

Firstly, individuals diagnosed with diabetes are at risk. The best way to learn if you have diabetes related vision loss is to have your optometrist perform an eye exam yearly. The longer the affliction goes unchecked, the greater the danger of diabetes related vision loss. Speedy treatment is the key to preventing further loss.

Pregnant women that have been found to have pregnancy-related diabetes have a greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

You may wonder why all the concern? Wouldn’t you notice symptoms of sight deterioration?

Well the answer surprisingly is no. There are several forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are easy to discern. Advanced diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes-related disease which results in extreme vision loss but may manifest without obvious symptoms. This is a reason that early discovery is crucial to halting any permanent deterioration.

A complete assessment will search for indications of diabetic retinopathy. There are multiple parts to this exam which will reveal the tell-tale signs, 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 test?

First of all you will undergo a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart which is used to determine how correctly you are able to see at various distances. This is just like the visual acuity checks given by your eye doctor, if you need glasses.

During a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to widen the size of your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by the squeamish, it can save you blindness in 10-15 years. This practice makes it possible to check a larger part of the inside of your eyes to check for unique clues that indicate the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort may save your ability to see.

Take care of your health. Even a little hesitation can lead to serious damage. If you are living with diabetes, it is necessary to book a vision examination with your optometrist without further delay.