Are you aware that diabetes is the leading causal agent of vision loss for adults of all ages? If not, you are not alone. From 2008, over 4 million adults in North America living with diabetes were found to have diabetes related blindness. Of this group, 70,000 had severe diabetic retinopathy, which can result in untreatable blindness.

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

To start, adults living with diabetes are at risk. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam regularly. The longer the disease goes undiagnosed, the stronger the danger of diabetes caused blindness. Speedy treatment is necessary to halting further damage.

Pregnant women that have been afflicted with diabetes have a stronger likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is crucial to have a complete dilated eye examination after diagnosis as well.

You may ask yourself why all the panic? Wouldn’t you notice if you were going blind?

Well the truth is no. There are many forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced phases are obvious. Advanced diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes related disease which results in extreme vision deterioration. Both conditions may manifest without noticeable symptoms. This is why early detection is central to saving yourself from irreparable injury.

A thorough assessment will look for precursors of diabetic retinopathy. There are several phases to this exam which will expose the tell-tale indicators, including a swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, leaky blood vessels, and damaged nerve tissue. What is entailed in a complete eye test?

First of all you will undergo a visual acuity exam by means of an eye chart that is used to assess how accurately you are able to see at various distances. This is just like the visual acuity examinations given by your optometrist, to see if you need corrective lenses.

During a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. Not a favorite of most people, but it can save you a loss of autonomy further down the road. This measure makes it feasible to examine a larger part of the inside of your eyes to check for distinct symptoms that imply the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort could save your vision.

When it comes to your sight, even a little hesitation may cause irreparable loss. If you are living with diabetes, it is crucial to book an eye examination with an optometrist once a year without fail.