Early intervention must to check retinopathy: Sankara Nethralaya

The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the number of diabetics would exponentially rise to 79.4 million by 2030 owing to changing lifestyle. This is especially so in metropolitan cities.

Diabetes leads to various complications, including eye issues. Ophthalmologists raise concerns about diabetic retinopathy, a threatening complication that leads to blindness if there is no early intervention.

Sankara Nethralaya, which has been running ‘Diabetic Retinopathy Programme’ for over a decade, says, “In urban cities like Chennai, one in four person is affected with diabetes in population aged equal to or more than 40. However, the situation is better in rural India. Among people aged 40 years, one in 10 has diabetes.”

A press release from the eye hospital said, “Among those with type-2 diabetes, nearly one in five in urban and one in 10 in rural India have diabetic retinopathy which effects the back part of retina and the chances of occurrence is there just by being diabetic.”

In mild cases, treatment for diabetic retinopathy is not necessary. Regular eye exams are critical for monitoring progression of the disease. Strict control of blood sugar and blood pressure levels can greatly reduce or prevent it, added the release.

 * Diabetic retinopathy can be treated even before visual loss occurs.
* A third of patients do not know they have diabetes; just two-thirds seek medical attention.
* Among the diabetic population, only a minuscule percentage gets regular eye check-ups.
* Not all ophthalmologists are trained to detect and treat diabetes-related retinal disease.
* It is an important cause of blindness in the working age group.
* A diabetic is 25 times more likely to go blind than one without diabetes.
* Diet, exercise, special medications help maintain sugar levels.
* Get a dilated, comprehensive eye examination once a year.
* Take care of your other illnesses like hypertension, anaemia, cholesterol, kidney disease.


NT Bureau