You can never be too cautious when it comes to your health, especially when we’re talking about the health of your eyes. Did you know individuals with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk for Diabetic Retinopathy, a disease which can result in blindness? But wait, there’s good news! As long as you have a comprehensive eye exam annually, you’ll have a good chance of catching the disease before it starts causing significant damage to your vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. It usually affects people who have had diabetes for a long time, but becomes detrimental to your vision when left untreated. Diabetic Retinopathy is what we call an ocular manifestation of a systemic disease, meaning that it is an eye condition that directly or indirectly results from a disease processed in another part of the body. Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by prolonged high blood glucose levels, which over time causes damage to the small blood vessels within the retina, eventually leading to blindness if not treated. This disease affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for over 10 years. However, by catching it in the early stages, patients have a 90% change of reducing their symptoms. Note that the early symptoms can only be discovered through an annual exam. By the time an individual notices vision problems, the chances of a successful treatment are significantly reduced.
If you are diabetic and experience any of the symptoms below, please consult with an eye doctor ASAP.
- Blurred, and/or spotted vision
- Missing areas of vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Pain in one of your eyes
Aside from an annual eye exam, those with diabetes can help slow Diabetic Retinopathy by keeping their blood sugar and blood pressure in control and refraining from smoking.
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