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Hi everyone,

I am an 18 (nearly 19) year old female living in the UK who has not yet been diagnosed (and, fingers crossed, may not even have diabetes), but today was referred to my GP for a diabetes test following an eye exam.

Today, I visited an optician because I have been experiencing pain in my right eye for a while. Turns out, the pain is simply eye strain. The back of my eye looks a-okay, so no worries there. My vision has never been perfect, and I wear glasses to read, but I discovered today that my eyesight has deteriorated MASSIVELY since my last eye exam. My last eye exam was in July of 2013. In the two and a bit years since, my vision has deteriorated three fold (or, my prescription has increased three fold). THREE FOLD. Bearing in mind I am only 18, this seems like a massive difference. And, indeed, during the eye exam, when I had to read the letters off the chart, I realised that my distance vision was indeed very poor. Much poorer than I remember it being during my last eye exam. I couldn't even read the big letters off the first chart without squinting!

This deterioration in my eyesight concerned the optometrist so much that he referred me to my GP for a diabetes test. I am terrified. My maternal aunt died from diabetes complications. I don't believe that I have any other symptoms, although I have noticed a slight increase in thirst in recent weeks.

My question is, is this amount of deterioration in eye sight something I should be concerned about? Did any of you have similar problems with your vision?

I am 18 years old, and of a healthy weight. I am somewhat doubtful that I have diabetes, but am still terrified by the possibility. Any advice/reassurance would be greatly appreciated. I will, of course, keep you updated! Fingers crossed all tests come back clear.

Thanks,

Hannah
 

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Well, first off, please don't be terrified.

Just work your way through the process of finding out what is going on.

We really can't give you any specific advice until we find out how your "diabetes test" goes.

Depending on those results, there will be a number of options for you to pursue, if you are in fact diabetic, and the folks on this board will be with you every step of the way.

Please keep in touch, as we all wait to see how you do.

I know nothing of your Aunt, but I would hazard a guess that she died of complications of untreated, neglected, or mismanaged diabetes. Complications do not appear if the disease is well managed, and the folks here do an excellent job of managing their diabetes.
 

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Welcome Rose,

Please try not to be scared of a diabetes diagnosis. Yes, your aunt died of diabetes complications.... and so did my sister. But I KNOW I will not follow in her steps because of how I manage my diabetes, keeping my blood sugar levels near normal. I don't expect to develop ANY diabetes complications, much less die from them.

Fear of the unknown is the worst kind of fear. If you want to understand diabetes better than you do now you might want to read on this site Blood Sugar 101 It will give you knowledge and that can go a long way toward alleviating the anxiety you are experiencing.

And if your tests do indicate diabetes, then come back here and we'll walk you through the first steps in managing it - and diabetes IS very much manageable.
 

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And to answer your question about vision. Most people who have eye problems associated with high blood sugar complain of blurred vision. I can't remember anyone saying their correction changed dramatically. And they all reported that when they got their blood sugar level low and stable that their blurred vision cleared up.
 

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You should be greatful that the optometrist referred you for more thorough testing. You will find out what's going on--it could be many things or nothing. If it does turn out to be diabetes we CAN help. It may be nothing other than eye strain (are you in uni and reading a lot?).

In the mean time, deep breaths.

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And to answer your question about vision. Most people who have eye problems associated with high blood sugar complain of blurred vision. I can't remember anyone saying their correction changed dramatically. And they all reported that when they got their blood sugar level low and stable that their blurred vision cleared up.
Thank you for the information. As a matter of fact, I have been getting quite severely blurred vision.....

And thank you to everyone else for the kind words and support. I will, of course, keep you all updated. I'll try to relax, too! :p
 

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Your doctor should refer you to an eye specialist. There are many reasons besides diabetes for this blurred vision and all should be explored and tested for. In the meantime, you have received some good advice about what to read and do. If you are a frequent drinker of soda and/or strongly caffeinated drinks, cut back on them by stepping down one drink a day. Replace it with water. Caffeine often affects blood pressure and this could be the problem. Take it easy; you found the right forum.
 
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Several of the folks here got their diagnosis after an eye exam raised suspicions.

If diabetes is ruled out, it's time to ask for a referral to an eye specialist, in case you aren't referred automatically.

Hopefully you are not a member of our "club," but if it turns out you are, this Forum is probably the best "chapter" you can find!

Please let us know what happens, either way. We care.
 

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There is no way we can determine if you have diabetes. If you do, and you are prescribed appropriate treatment, then your vision should improve a lot. It may even be normal after a while. I had vision problems with my diabetes caused by an unstable blood sugar level. With a change in my routine my levels stabilized, and my normal vision was restored.
 
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