Regular Eye Exams Can Save Diabetics’ Vision

If you have diabetes, you are likely very accustomed to certain aspects of managing and treating your disease; you’re accustomed to having to purchase insulin syringes such as the easytouch insulin syringe or bd insulin syringes, and to testing with one of the many blood-glucose meters available on the market. But according to the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), diabetics are not as familiar as they should be with eye exams—and they absolutely should be. According to these agencies, some 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults from ages 20 to 74.

Research from the CDC shows that between 2005 and 2008, 4.2 million diabetes patients in the US had diabetic retinopathy—the most common form of diabetic eye disease. This is a staggering figure. Of those in the group with the disease, some 655,000 suffered from an advanced form of the eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness. Just as diabetics must make sure to monitor their blood glucose levels with products such as prodigy test strips, or bayer contour meters, whichever preference a patient have—and just as they must administer their medication regularly and consistently, whether oral or using products like the easytouch insulin syringe or bd insulin syringes—they should make a habit of normal vision checks, complete with pupil dilation to look at the retina. According to Diabetic Connect, the largest social networking site for diabetes sufferers, some 25% of people with diabetes do not have the recommended annual dilated eye exam.

The simple procedure could significantly reduce the risk of vision loss associated with diabetes. According to the NEI, the most common forms of eye disease associated with diabetes are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in diabetics, and is caused by a change in the blood vessels inside of the retina; one major problem with all of the eye diseases associated with diabetes is that there are often no symptoms until the disease reaches an advanced stage. On the other hand, these diseases can be detected early on through the use of a dilated eye exam. With early detection through such an exam, timely treatment and appropriate follow up, the risk of vision loss from diseases such as diabetic retinopathy can be reduced by an astonishing 95%. Early detection also offers more treatment options for those with the diseases, ranging from laser eye surgery, injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications, and other interventions.

So just as diabetics are keeping themselves informed about the options available to them in the diabetic supply stores they prefer, whether they use the easytouch insulin syringe or the bd insulin syringe products, or if they stick with one glucose monitor such as the bayer contour or the prodigy auto code, they should also make time to get regular eye exams to keep their quality of life high and prevent blindness.

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