Seeing the signs in diabetes week
Post on 13th June 2017
The eyes have it when it comes to detecting certain health issues, including the early signs of diabetes.
The importance of regular sight tests comes into focus in Diabetes Week (11-17 June) for diabetes can cause blindness. It also claims the lives of 65 people in the UK every day which is why raising awareness is so important.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK. People can reduce their chances of developing diabetes complications, such as damage to the eyes, by controlling their blood pressure, glucose, and blood fat levels, by keeping active, maintaining an ideal body weight and giving up smoking.
Alarmingly, an estimated 549,000 people have diabetes but are unaware of it.
Around 30% of diabetics will develop diabetic retinopathy, which if left undetected could lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy – damage to the back of the eye (retina) – is treatable, but it has to be picked up first.
This condition and diabetes itself can be detected in an eye examination which highlights the importance of having regular eye tests as early diagnosis is of great benefit.
People with diabetes should be screened in the UK once each year for retinopathy. A photograph is taken of the eye which allows the specialists to spot any signs of damage that may be present.
Screening appointments mean the signs can be spotted well in advance of symptoms developing. In the early stages of retinopathy, no treatment is needed but it’s recommended that patients keep good control of their blood sugar levels by watching the foods they eat, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
Sight tests are not just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses. They are so much more.
They provide a vital check on the health of the eyes and can detect other health conditions.
If you are concerned about your eye health, or are due a sight test, please visit your nearest Scrivens branch for advice.