Why annual eye examinations are important. If you have diabetes this does not necessarily mean that your sight will be affected, but there is a higher risk.
If your diabetes is well controlled then you are less likely to have problems, or they may be less serious. However, if there are complications that affect the eyes then this may result in loss of sight. Most sight loss due to diabetes can be prevented, but it is vital that it is diagnosed early. This can only be detected by a detailed examination of the eye.
Therefore, regular, annual eye examinations are extremely important, as you may not realise that there is anything wrong with your eyes until it is too late.
What is diabetes?
Estimates suggest that nearly one person in twenty-five in the UK is affected by diabetes mellitus, a condition which means that, due to a lack of insulin, the body cannot cope normally with sugar and other carbohydrates in the diet. Diabetes can start in childhood, but more often begins in later life. It can cause complications which affect different parts of the body, the eye being one of them.
There are two different types of diabetes mellitus:
Type 1 diabetes, which can also be referred to as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This type of diabetes commonly occurs before the age of 30 and is the result of the body producing little or no insulin.
Type 1 is controlled by insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes, which can also be referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). This type of diabetes commonly occurs after the age of 40. In this type of diabetes the body does produce some insulin, although the amount is either not sufficient or the body is not able to make proper use of it.
Type 2 diabetes is generally controlled by diet or tablets, although some people in this group will use insulin injections.