Diabetic Patients must Stay Alert to Diabetic Retinopathy. If you are diabetic and your eye sight deteriorates, don?t just buy a new pair of glasses but consult an eye specialist
With the number of diabetic patients going up fast in the country, people need to be vigilant not just to cut down their chances of contracting it but also watch out for allied medical ailments if they already have this lifestyle-related medical condition. The number of people suffering from diabetes will go up to 10 crore by 2035 in India, according to International Diabetes Federation. This will be a quantum jump from about 6.5 crore patients that Indian has currently.
One of the foremost precautions for a diabetic person is to make regular visits to an Ophthalmologist or a Retina specialist. One must not buy new glasses as soon one notices that things look blurry. The vision may be blurry because fluid is leaking into the lens of the eye. This makes the lens swell and change shape. These changes make it hard for the eyes to focus, so things start to look fuzzy. People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataract too.
Blurred vision could just be a small problem caused by high blood sugar. High blood sugar or uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to problems like blurry vision, which affects the retina. Retina is a group of cells on the back of the eye that takes in light. They turn it into images that the optic nerve sends to your brain. Sometimes the retina can be badly damaged due to poor control of diabetes, before a person can notice any change in vision. High blood sugar level damages the smaller blood vessels in the eye and the fluid starts leaking, leading to damage of the retina and causes diabetic retinopathy. A person with long standing diabetes is more likely to get diabetic retinopathy. If the blood sugar levels are under control, lower are the chances of developing such complications. Typical symptoms of retinopathy are -
A) Black spots in your vision
B) Flashes of light
C) "Holes" in your vision
D) Blurred vision
Significant strides have been made in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Treatment such as laser, surgery or use of intravitreal injections is generally recommended depending upon the condition. Some intravitreal injections are recommended to be given every month and some intravitreal injections are given every 3 to 4 months.
For this reason, a diabetic person should have his or her eyes examined regularly by an eye care professional. A full yearly check-up can help find problems early, when they're easier to treat. That could save the vision.
(The Writer is Director Operations for Allergan India, part of diversified global pharmaceutical company which is a leader in eye care solutions)