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DIABETES AND THE RETINA! How can people with diabetes protect their vision?
The IMPORTANCE of early treatment
Although a person's vision may be good, changes taking place in the retina may require treatment. Most sight loss due to diabetes is preventable if treated early. The earlier the treatment is given the more effective it is.
In a nutshell: Early diagnosis is vital.
Annual retinal screening appointment is quintessential.
Worsening of vision may not necessarily mean diabetic retinopathy. It may simply be a problem that can be rectified with glasses.
Vision lost to diabetic retinopathy is sometimes irreversible. Women with diabetes who become pregnant should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible. Additional exams during pregnancy may be needed.
Multiple studies have shown that controlling diabetes slows the onset and worsening of diabetic retinopathy. Other trials have also demonstrated that controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of vision loss among people with diabetes.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is often delayed until it starts to progress to a complicated or irreversible stage. Comprehensive frequent dilated eye exams are needed more frequently as diabetic retinopathy becomes more severe. People with a high risk of developing complications may need a comprehensive dilated eye exam as often as every month.
To summarize, early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is important.
Don't wait for the vision to deteriorate to have an eye test.
Inform your eye specialist in case you notice changes to your vision.
Feel free to ask questions or express fears about your treatment.
Strict control of sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol reduce the risk of diabetes-related sight loss.
Smoking increases your risk of diabetes-related sight loss.