Far too many people are unaware of the fact that diabetes can lead to blindness. A recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicates that diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in those between 20 and 74. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is occurs when the retinal blood vessels are damaged causing loss of function. This is called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is a particularly serious complication of the disease and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.
In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy presents no noticeable symptoms. As it progresses it can cause vision loss and when not treated, blindness.
Because symptoms are often not noticed until vision is already at risk it is imperative to schedule a yearly diabetic eye exam if you are diabetic. If you are diabetic and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye make sure to see an eye doctor. Diabetics are also at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma due to the strain it causes on the eyes.
The risk of diabetic eye disease is greatest when blood sugar levels are uncontrolled. Monitoring and controlling your sugar level through diet, exercise, prescribed medications and annual eye exams is the best combination for preventing vision loss.
This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic eye disease and consult with your eye doctor at Duvall Advanced Family EyeCare to discuss questions or concerns. Schedule your yearly diabetic eye examination.