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Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable new onset blindness in working-age adults?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease for people with diabetes. When there are high levels of glucose in the blood, small blood vessels in the eye become damaged. This can lead to an assortment of vision complications, and in worst cases, blindness. There are a variety of treatments to treat diabetic retinopathy available for those who are diagnosed with an eye condition early on.
People with either Type I or Type II diabetes can have diabetic eye disease and not know it. The effects of this disease are painless and patients are usually unaware they have this condition until they experience the disease’s final stages. Although diabetes can lead to serious eye complications, the good news is that there are ways these issues can be prevented.
Here are a few simple things you can do to preserve your vision:
- Make sure your A1C and blood glucose levels are always in check.
- Be conscious of where you stand with health conditions such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Visit your eye doctor annually for a routine checkup.
- Make sure you get a dilated eye exam or specially validated photographs of your retinas once a year.
When scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor, be aware that an eye exam may take up to 2½ hours. The exams are very thorough and may require the doctor to apply drops to dilate your pupils. Should this be the case, be prepared to bring a pair of sunglasses with you if you are sensitive to light. It may not be a bad idea to arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up from the eye doctor, since your vision will by hazy from the drops. Other than dilation discomfort, there is no need to worry – the exam is completely pain-free.
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