Eye care for people with diabetes

Shocking facts about diabetes and diabetic eye disease

l 30 per cent of people with diabetes never know that they have diabetes;

l A diabetes patient is 25 times more likely to go blind than a person without diabetes.

l The risk of diabetic retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes.

l 60 per cent of patients with diabetes for 15 years or more will get diabetic retinopathy.

Tips for diabetics to avoid eye problems due to diabetes

l If diagnosed before 30,have an eye examination within five years of diagnosis.

l If diagnosed after 30, have an eye examination as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.

l Pregnant women must have an eye examination within the first three months of pregnancy.

l Good systemic control of diabetes will prevent vision loss.

Treatments available for diabetic retinopathy

l Laser treatment or an intraocular injection is used to seal abnormal leaking blood vessels.

l Advanced cases with bleeding into the eye and scar tissue require surgery.

l Early detection through eye examination and treatment is vital for successful treatment.

(The author is a senior consultant surgeon in Vasan Eye Care Hospital, Chennai)

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012