Friday, October 18, 2013
Why Many Diabetics Are At Risk To Lose Their Eyesight
This is what diabetic retinopathy looks like. It is one of the side affects resulting from diabetes. Diabetes is a medical condition that affects the body's ability to produce insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the body's cells and produce energy.
Diabetes is considered an epidemic in the African-American community. Out of 16 million Americans with diabetes, many are African Americans. One of the risks from diabetes is eye disease and vision loss.
Causes of vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease that is caused by diabetes. It is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. The disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina; the retina is what gives you good vision. The condition causes blood vessels to swell, leak fluid, and produce abnormal blood vessels on the surface of the retina. All of these conditions can affect vision.
Symptoms may not appear right away but in time will cause blurred vision. It usually affects both eyes. Diabetics may also see floating spots in their vision. This is when the abnormal blood vessels bleed into the eye and block vision.
Early detection of eye disease is critical in order to prevent eye loss. In fact, 95 percent of blindness risk can be prevented if treatment is sought early. Diabetics may need eye exams more often in order to reduce the risk of vision loss. Pregnant women, in particular, who have diabetes are at greater risk for retinopathy and should include eye exams along in their prenatal care.
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