Diabetes is the dominant cause of vision loss of adults aged 20-74 years. Since 2008, over 4 million men and women in North America suffering from diabetes were tested positive for diabetic retinopathy. Out of those tested, 70,000 suffered from advanced diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to total vision loss.
The big question is, how necessary is it to get tested for blindness cause by diabetes?
Having diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam yearly. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the stronger the risk of diabetes related blindness. Speedy treatment will go a long way in preventing further damage.
Women who are pregnant that have been afflicted with pregnancy-related diabetes have a better chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to undergo a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.
You may ask yourself why all the concern? Wouldn’t it be obvious if there were signs of blindness?
The truth is, not necessarily. There are many types of diabetic retinopathy, and only those in the severe phases are noticeable. Progressive diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in severe sight loss, which may appear with no noticeable symptoms. This is why early discovery is important to halting any lasting damage.
A complete test will detect precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are individual steps to this exam which will reveal the typical signs, such as damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is involved in a comprehensive eye test?
The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart that is used to measure how well you see at various distances. This is the same as the visual acuity tests given by your eye doctor, should you require glasses.
While giving 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 most people, it can stop loss of vision in subsequent years. This measure makes it feasible to check a larger part of the inside of your eyes to check for unique signs that reveal the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The short discomfort could save your eye sight.
When it comes to your health, even a little complacency can cause irreparable damage. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is important to book an eye test with your optometrist without further delay.