Unexpected sight loss is more common than you may think. Blindness often happens without prior warning signs and in people unaware they are at risk.
The two most common culprits of unexpected sight loss are diabetes and glaucoma. These diseases are known as the “sneak thieves of sight” because symptoms may not occur in the early stages. By the time a person realizes something is wrong, irreversible vision loss often occurs.
In fact, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults. An average of 55 Americans go blind from the disease each day. The numbers threaten to rise sharply as diabetes becomes increasingly common due to poor eating habits, infrequent exercise and an aging population. One in three children born in the United States five years ago are expected to become diabetic during their lives.
Diabetes causes partial or complete loss of vision in as many as 70 percent of those who have it. Yet 30 percent of all people who have diabetes don’t even know they have it. Even people who know they have diabetes downplay the risks they face.
According to a survey of diabetics sponsored by Lions Clubs International,...