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Do your near and dear ones have diabetes? Get their eyes checked now !

By: Studio18 Desk

Studio18

Last Updated: December 27, 2022, 19:45 IST

Mumbai, India

Do your near and dear ones have diabetes? Get their eyes checked now !

Blindness from diabetes is a very real danger. Vision loss can come from Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataract and Glaucoma, along with other complications like double vision and an inability to focus.

The inconvenient truth is that we’re all getting older. As are our parents, our grandparents, our in-laws, and anyone else who will depend on us to care for them in their sunset years. For many of us, caretaking duties are already a part of our lives. If you’ve ever set a reminder on a parents’ phone to take their medication on time, you’ve acted as a caregiver. Ditto, if you’ve accompanied someone to a doctor, or made an appointment, or bought medication, or enforced dietary restrictions.

However, there are certain illnesses that fly under our collective radar: lifestyle diseases like Diabetes which are becoming increasingly common. The very commonplace nature of diabetes gives rise to a certain complacency: most of us are completely unaware of the damage diabetes can do to the body, especially when it comes to our vision.

Blindness from diabetes is a very real danger. Vision loss can come from Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataract and Glaucoma, along with other complications like double vision and an inability to focus. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in most countries, Diabetic Retinopathy is acknowledged to be one of the leading causes of blindness.

Closer to home, Diabetic Retinopathy affects nearly 18% of people with diabetes in India. With 7.7 Crore people with Diabetes in our country, that amounts to 1.4 Crore people with Diabetic Retinopathy in India!

What makes this even more frightening is that Diabetic Retinopathy is completely asymptomatic in its early stages. What this means is that by the time you’re seeing symptoms, some eye damage has already occurred. However, once Diabetic Retinopathy is diagnosed, it can be managed, and further damage prevented.

Since we can’t prevent ourselves from dangers we’re unaware of, the Vitreo Retina Society of India (VRSI) and All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) teamed up to launch a campaign to raise awareness about Diabetic Retinopathy. Both VRSI and AIOS see firsthand the damage this disease does to their patients’ quality of life. The aim of the campaign is to arm people with diabetes with the right information so they can prevent vision loss.

To better understand this, let’s look at how Diabetic Retinopathy affects vision. High blood glucose levels, when left unchecked, create blocks in the small blood vessels that keep the retina healthy. The retina is a lining at the back of the eye that processes light into images. The blood vessels can swell, leak fluid, or bleed, which often leads to vision changes or blindness.

This is also why you must not wait for symptoms to appear. The damage from Diabetic Retinopathy Is permanent. The best way to avoid vision loss from Diabetic Retinopathy is to prevent it. The key here is to detect and treat the retinopathy, before it damages the vision. The good news is that you can do so, by way of a painless eye test with your eye doctor. Once you receive your diagnosis, it is important to follow the doctors’ instructions meticulously, and to schedule regular follow up appointments and tests.

Should you receive a clean bill of health where Diabetic Retinopathy is concerned, schedule yourself and your loved ones for an annual eye test. Also, keeping sugars under check helps to prevent eye changes. Remember, the key to prevention here is an early diagnosis. As AIOS and VRSI have said so aptly: Check yearly, see clearly.

Normal Retina
Diabetic Maculopathy : Deposition of Lipid deposits in the centre of Retina
Diabetic Maculopathy : Deposition of Lipid deposits in the centre of Retina
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy : New Vessel Formation with Bleeding Requries Urgent Attention

This is a partnered post. 

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first published:December 27, 2022, 19:44 IST
last updated:December 27, 2022, 19:45 IST
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