Signs of Diabetes Affecting Your Eyes
In India, over 77 million people are living with diabetes and an estimated 18% of diabetics suffer from diabetic retinopathy (DR).Despite these alarming numbers, awareness about severe and irreversible consequences of diabetes such as Diabetes Retinopathy (DR) is dismal in India.
DR is a leading cause of vision loss in working (20-65 years) adults, and globally, 1 out of every 3 diabetic patients tend to develop Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).Routine eye screening, especially for diabetics and the elderly, is key to enabling timely diagnosis and disease management. On being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, it is important to adhere to the treatment and maintain a healthy lifestyle to effectively manage diabetes and to prevent theprogression of eye diseases.
Dr. Santosh Kumar Mohapatra, Ophthalmologist, Chief Medical Officer, JPM Rotary Eye Hospital, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, said, “In India, the burden of retinal diseases is on the rise. DME, for instance, mainly affects the working-age population of 35-to-45-year-olds, causing distorted vision. However, the DME onset can be significantly delayed if diabetics effectively control their diabetes and blood sugar levels, which is the primary way to prevent the condition. With the pandemic, we witnessed a disruption in retinal healthcare, as many were unable to receive injections or laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy in tie, this led to patients reaching advanced stages of the diseases which requires complex surgeries, however, as doctors we are trying our best to avoid severe vision loss amongst patients.”
Signs that diabetes is affecting your eyes:
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to several eye related diseases such as DR, cataract which is the formation of a film on the eye lens and glaucoma which can damage your optic nerve. Diabetes can either make youhighly vulnerable to ocular diseases or lead you to develop one at a younger age.
One must be alert and visit an Ophthalmologist or a Retina specialist immediately in case of any of these symptoms:
• Blurred or fuzzy or distorted vision
• Impaired colour vision
• Decreased contrast or colour sensitivity
• Experiencing dark spots in vision
• Straight lines that appear wavy or crooked
• Difficulty seeing at a distance
• Gradual Vision loss