Young people should be thinking about diabetic retinopathy

This article is sponsored by Regeneron. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in kindergarten, seriously. Thank goodness parents save amazingly embarrassing school photos for future blog posts, huh?

Young girl in glasses.

I’ve always had to consider my eyesight and eye checks as a part of my annual health check-ups.

In kindergarten, I was diagnosed with a severe astigmatism and lazy eye, and since then I’ve seen an optometrist almost every year of my life for 25 years.

It became even more important for me to have these check-ups when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Complications may be prevented when type 2 diabetes is well-managed, but knowing about them is important, and diabetic retinopathy is one.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina.

Our retinas are the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back part of the eye, allowing us to see fine detail.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in working-age Americans. Many people with type 1 diabetes suffer blindness as do people like me with type 2 diabetes.

If you can believe it, diabetic retinopathy occurs in more than half of the people who develop diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

It’s possible to have diabetic retinopathy for a long time without noticing symptoms until substantial damage has occurred. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can occur in one, or both eyes.

Symptoms may include:
Blurred or double vision
Difficulty reading
A shadow across the field of vision
Difficulty with color perception

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to irreversible vision loss and even blindness. The good news is vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be preventable if caught and treated.

My vision is too important to lose, so every year, I book my appointment to get my eyes checked because signs of DR are often not visible.

Even though I’m still pretty young, I make sure to pay attention to my eye health. Make sure you protect your eyes and visit https://bit.ly/2pkWIyg to learn more about the complication, and how to help prevent it.

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