Diabetes Comes into Focus

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Diabetes Comes into Focus

Recent advances in the prevention and treatment of vision loss attributed to diabetes have put the spotlight on this condition, and researchers and scientists continue to seek out new ways to slow down or halt the damage this disease causes to the eye.

Studies have shown that part of the problem with those suffering from diabetes is that many of them are not aware of the link between the disease and eye damage. This means that they do not undergo regular eye tests simply because they are not conscience of the effects diabetes can have on their eyes. And when they do experience issues, the damage may have already been done. Often, a diabetic may only go for an eye test when they experience blurred vision, or feel they need new prescription glasses, by which time they may have advanced diabetic retinopathy.

Lowering The Risk

Researchers and those in the eye care field are now seeking out new ways to assist diabetics and are placing heavy emphasis on the importance of regular eye tests and practicing good eye health. Several studies have been conducted, and on going research is being carried out in an attempt to thwart the loss of vision experienced by so many diabetics globally.

New studies have also determined that those with diabetes who remain inactive for long periods of time have an increased chance of developing an eye condition that could rob them of their sight. Living a sedentary lifestyle seems to increase the chances of developing diabetic retinopathy, and according to the U.S. National Eye Institute even a simple daily walk could reduce the risk dramatically.

Controlling The Cause

For diabetics, eye care is especially important, as along with diabetic retinopathy there’s also the chance of developing diabetic macular edema and dry eye. Often diabetics struggle with contact lenses as they find their eyes become very dry, however products such as Bausch & Lomb’s Silicone Hydrogel lenses allow the eye to breathe and this issue is alleviated somewhat. Technology has made wearing contact lenses easier for diabetics, and new advancements may be able to assist sufferers in other ways too.

Google has been experimenting with eyewear for a while now, and Google Glass was their first real foray into the sector. They’re also looking at ways to aid diabetics and are working on the development of a contact lens that can test a patients glucose levels.

Dubbed a ‘smart contact lens’ Google’s lens would measure the glucose level in a wearers tears and help diabetics keep tabs of their sugar levels. The lens would contain a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor and currently, the prototype can take a glucose level reading every second, providing real time information to the wearer. It may be a while still before Google can bring this product to market, but the fact that’s in in development highlights the need for a device that can accurately and quickly monitor blood sugar automatically, without relying on the individual to remember to do so.

With tens of thousands of diabetes sufferers losing their eyesight every year, often unnecessarily, there’s a definite focus on creating awareness and new products that can aid in the control, maintenance and promotion of good eye health.

If you are diabetic and need an eye test, EyeQ can readily assist and our trained, experienced optometrists are able to offer advice and guidance whenever you need it.

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