Science

World Diabetes Day 2016: Focus On Diabetic Retinopathy And Other Visual Complications

By Monica U Santos , Nov 15, 2016 01:34 AM EST

A worldwide survey indicates that vision loss is feared twice as much as other common complications of diabetes. Despite these facts, international medical organizations are highlighting that a quarter of people with diabetes are not discussing eye complications with their healthcare professional. This is why the theme of World Diabetes Day 2016 highlights 'Eyes on Diabetes.'

World Diabetes Day 2016 Focuses On Early Diagnosis And Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes To Avoid Eye Complications

On World Diabetes Day 2016, the activities and materials will focus on promoting the importance of ensuring early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications. Type 2 Diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. The common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination and unexplained weight loss

According to The Himalayan, very few patients are aware of complications in the eyes. It is presumed that this disease would affect a total of 4.4 percent by the end of 2030. Moreover, 183 million people (50 percent) are undiagnosed and 4.6 million deaths were caused by diabetes in 2011. A survey results that one out of four people aged 60 years (25.99 percent) were found to be suffering from the disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy: Visual Complications Of Blindness

With the combined forces of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), with funding from Bayer, the new Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) Barometer survey questioned almost 4,340 adults with diabetes and 2,329 healthcare professionals in 41 countries. The results provide some unique insights into the current management especially with regard to access to eye exams and the knowledge of healthcare professionals when it comes to visual complications of diabetes. Also, 20 percent of people with DR said that the changes in their vision leave them less able to manage their diabetes

"Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the working-age population of most developed countries, and the sight loss caused by this condition can have a profound impact on both an individual's quality of life and their ability to work," says Peter Ackland, chief executive officer, IAPB, in a press release. "DR and DME (diabetic macular edema) can be successfully managed with the right screening and treatment; however, many people with diabetes are being placed at unnecessary risk of vision loss due to barriers within the referral system and patient care pathway," he noted.

National Diabetes Awareness Month is November. All diabetes associations wish to inform people that diabetes and its complications are preventable. With proven, tested and affordable medication, prevention is possible. The most common cause of blindness is because of poorly controlled diabetes, especially among working-age adults. So before that happens, it will be better to see your doctor and let them check your sugar levels as well as your eyes.

 

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