Too many people are not aware that diabetes increases the chances vision loss. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) diabetes is the number one cause of complete vision loss among individuals aged 20 to 74 years old. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye, which is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy causes severe vision impairment and even blindness. Anyone with the disease is at risk and it has affected over 3.7 million people in the U.S. in the past ten years.
Diabetic retinopathy can be undetected until considerable damage is done. When the pressure in the blood vessels in the retina increases they start to leak causing retinal damage. This leads to vision loss and when not treated, blindness.
If you have diabetes 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 an appointment with your eye doctor. In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetics are at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
With early detection and treatment, we can stop blindness. In addition to making sure that you have a regular eye exam once a year if you are diabetic, controlling your glucose levels is crucial to keeping your eyes healthy.
This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic retinopathy and speak to your eye doctor if you have any questions. It could mean the difference between a life of sight and one of darkness.