Diabetic retinopathy is fast emerging as one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and preventive measures should be taken for eye health.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, diabetic retinopathy accounts for about five per cent of the global pattern of blindness and the WHO has projected a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes in all the geographic regions owing to lack of knowledge among the affected population on how to prevent the disease from worsening and leading to blindness.
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problem that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the condition and this causes severe vision impairment or blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is caused due to the changes in the blood vessels in the retina due to diabetic conditions.According to ophthalmologists the threat of the disease spreading fast in the highly population regions such as India and China. According to the estimates of the WHO, individuals suffering from diabetes would double by 2030.
There is an urgent need for initiating targeted action and inter-disciplinary approach to tackle the problem. Controlling diabetic retinopathy is a complex issue requiring health education to prevent diabetes, early diagnosis of diabetes, comprehensive and cost-effective screening programmes to detect diabetics with treatable retinopathy through laser treatment. There is also need for specialised ophthalmologists to manage diabetic retinopathy, make appropriate technology available, develop new treatment programmes and frame a public health education policy on preventing diabetes.
Other eye disorders associated with diabetes included glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve due to increase in the pressure on the eye and cataract. The laser surgery for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy was time tested and helps to shrink the abnormal blood vessels in the retina. At least four sessions were usually required to complete the treatment. This is an out-patient procedure.
- Several studies have shown that many complication of diabetes can be prevented or delayed through effective management. This includes measures such as healthy diet, exercise, physical activities, avoidance of overweight and obesity and not smoking.
- Knowledge in good food care as well as regular health check up is a good example of low cost method of prevention.
- Diabetes therapy is not only about lowering glucose, but also overall reduction in risk factors for diabetic complication which include control of blood pressure and blood lipids. This requires life long care and management.
- Health system that is able to deliver optimal care need to be designed around the needs of the patient with the condition as on a day to day basis.
- Most diabetic care is undertaken by person and not the health professional. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, at least 5 days a week is enough to promote good health and reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
Healthy eating is the first step in taking care of your diabetes. You do not need special diet or foods. The food that is good for you is good for your whole family. Eat a wide variety of foods every day.Try new foods. Eat high fibre food such as fruits, vegetables whole grains and beans.
Dr. Bhujang Shetty
121/C , 1st ‘R’ Block, Chord Road
Bangalore – 560010
Ph: 91 8066121300-305