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Did you know that diabetes is the chief causal factor of impaired sight in adults 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 subsequently diagnosed with blindness caused by diabetes. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which, if left unmonitored, will lead to irreversible loss of vision.

So, should everyone get tested for diabetic retinopathy?

An existing diagnosis of diabetes is the first risk factor. Anyone in this category should ensure that they have an eye exam yearly. The longer the disease goes unchecked, the stronger the risk of diabetes related blindness. Speedy treatment is necessary to halting further loss.

Pregnant women that have been afflicted with diabetes have a higher likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. It is advisable to undergo a complete 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 many kinds of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the advanced stages are easy to discern. Progressive diabetes can have no signs. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in extreme blindness. Both afflictions can appear with no noticeable signs. This is a reason that early detection is the key to preventing long term damage.

An extensive assessment will check for symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. There are various phases to this exam which will reveal the standard clues, including damaged nerve tissue, swelling of the retina, the existence of fatty deposits on the retina, and leaky blood vessels. What is included in a complete eye exam?

The eye doctor will perform a visual acuity test by means of an eye chart which is used to determine how well you can see at various distances. This is just like the visual acuity tests given by optometrists, should you need glasses.

During a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to widen your pupils. Though not a particularly beloved test by the squeamish, it can save you loss of vision further down the road. This measure makes it easier to monitor a larger part of the inside of your eyes to look for unique signs that show the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The momentary discomfort could save your eye sight.

Regularly monitor your health. Even a little complacency can cause irreparable deterioration. If you are living with diabetes, it is necessary to book a vision test with an eye doctor without further delay.