National Diabetes Week
Sunday 14 July kick starts National Diabetes Week. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, affecting 1.7 million Australians. More than 630,000 Australians are at risk of diabetes-related blindness because they aren’t having their eyes checked. At Adelaide City Optometrist, we are committed to detecting and managing diabetic retinopathy before vision is lost.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina are damaged as a result of diabetes. All individuals living with diabetes are at risk of this condition. However, you are at an increased risk if you have:
• High blood-sugar levels, or poorly managed diabetes;
• High blood pressure; or
• A long history of diabetes.
Often, there are no early symptoms of diabetic eye disease. This means that over time, the severity of the condition can worsen unknowingly. However, some people will experience symptoms, which include blurred vision, increased sensitivity to glare, or difficulty seeing at night.
When To Have An Eye Exam
Early detection, management and follow-up care can help reduce vision loss by up to 95 percent. To help protect your vision, it is vital to regularly visit an optometrist. Paul Fotkou recommends a comprehensive eye examination as early as possible after diabetic diagnosis. This involves a dilation and scans of the back of the eye. At Adelaide City Optometrist, we use optical coherence tomography to produce cross-sectional images of the eye. This assists in the monitoring and management of diabetic retinopathy. Subsequently, you should have a comprehensive eye check at least once a year – if not more frequently.
Protecting Your Vision
Your vision is so important. In addition to regular eye exams, to protect your eye health and overall health, it is crucial to:
• Take your medication;
• Reach and maintain a healthy weight;
• Include physical activity in your daily routine; and
• Control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.