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Home » What's New » Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Blindness

Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Blindness


Diabetes is the chief causal factor of impaired sight among 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 subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, seventy thousand were afflicted with severe diabetic retinopathy, which may result in a serious vision loss.


While not everyone is at risk of diabetes related vision loss, it is important to understand the connection between the disease and vision loss.


To start, those diagnosed with diabetes are at risk. One method to find out if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your eye care professional give you a complete eye test yearly. The longer the disease remains undiagnosed, the greater the danger of diabetes caused vision loss. Speedy treatment is necessary to halting further deterioration.


Pregnant women that have been found to have pregnancy-related diabetes have a stronger risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to schedule a complete dilated eye exam after diagnosis as well.


Maybe you are wondering, why all the worry? Wouldn't you notice if you were losing your sight?


Well the answer surprisingly is, not always. There are several types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the severe stages are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in severe blindness that may manifest with no noticeable symptoms. This is why early recognition is crucial to stopping any long term loss.


An extensive analysis will search for signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are several stages to this exam which will expose the typical signs, such as leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the buildup of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. What is entailed in a comprehensive eye exam?


First of all you will undergo a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart that is used to determine how correctly you see at varying distances. This is identical to the visual acuity exams given by optometrists, if you require glasses.


While giving a dilated eye exam, the optometrist places drops in your eyes to exaggerate your pupils. Though not a favorite of most patients, it can prevent deterioration in your sight later on. This procedure makes it easier to see a larger section of the interior portion of your eyes to check for unique signs that show the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort will probably save your ability to see.


Regularly monitor your health. Even a little hesitation might cause irreversible damage. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is necessary to book a vision examination with an optometrist as soon as possible.

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