The number of people with diabetes is rising, but detecting the condition is simple
As World Diabetes Day approaches, the amount of people in the UK with diabetes continues to rise. According to Diabetes UK, it is estimated that five million people will have the condition by 2025. And due to an aging population, the majority of these cases will be type 2 diabetes.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes rose from 1.4 million to 2.9 million between 1996 and 2012; highlighting the condition as one of the UK’s biggest health challenges.
Diabetes is metabolism disorder where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high. As a lifelong incurable condition, the body’s blood sugar levels increase affecting your health rapidly.
But did you know that a comprehensive eye examination can detect the early signs of diabetes?
Your eyes are the gateway to your insides and say a lot about your general health as well as your vision. Diabetes and hypertension can both be detected during a thorough eye examination with an experienced optometrist. Retinal screening allows the optometrist to take a detail image of your eye and assess any damage to the retina. During you next eye examination, we recommend that you ask your optometrist about retinal screening and the ways it can benefit you.
Diabetes puts you at a significantly higher risk of certain eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. Often these conditions show no symptoms in their early stages, but left to develop can lead to blindness. It’s extremely important to do everything you can to slow down the progression of, and limit your chances of suffering from these problems.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is a leading cause of blindness in adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels in the retina and affects up to 80% of people who have had diabetes for over 10 years.
Research suggests that 90% of new cases could have been prevented with proper treatment and regular monitoring of the eyes.
Diabetic retinopathy has different stages and as it progresses, your vision deteriorates. Successful diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can’t cure the disease, but can slow down the progression of the condition and even prevent you from going blind. Having your eyes examined yearly is imperative if you have diabetes.
So how can you slow the progression of eye conditions caused by diabetes?
It is vital that you monitor your blood sugar levels by watching the foods that you eat and reducing your blood pressure by avoiding stress. It is also recommended that you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Smoking also affects your blood sugar levels which puts you at risk of diabetic retinopathy.
The best way to protect your vision and health against diabetes is by visiting a diabetic clinic run by local independent opticians. They are able to give you a detailed evaluation of your eyes and pass the findings on to your GP for their records.
At Eye Emporium, a typical eye examination for someone with diabetes includes retinal imaging, visual field assessments and measurement of intra-ocular pressures amongst other thorough tests. Their diabetic clinics have helped people across London and surrounding areas to manage their diabetes successfully and even detect the condition in its earliest form.
For more information on Eye Emporium and their diabetic clinics, visit your nearest Eye Emporium branch.