Diabetic patients are at a risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Most of the diabetics, of about 63 percent are unaware of this complication. Hence, awareness and screening to the diabetic patients is necessary.
According to a survey, Indians who are diabetic were found to be unaware that diabetics affects the retina of the eye as well apart from various parts of the body. About 63 percent of them fall into the ignorant category.
‘Longer the duration of diabetes, higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
A total of 6,000 Type 2 Diabetics were screened at city's Diabetes and Thyroid Care Centre for the survey.
"The survey was conducted with the aim to not only create awareness but also to reduce the number of diabetics who will need laser treatment, anti VEGF injections and Virectomy by early detection and management," said Kiran Shah, Consultant Diabetologist, Diabetes and Thyroid Care Centre.
She said that out of those surveyed and detected with Diabetic Retinopathy, 60.8 percent were from the working class age group of 40 to 70 years and 21.8 per cent had vision threatening diabetic retinopathy.
"It was found that 63 percent tested positive for diabetes were not aware that the disease affects the retina too. As many as 92 percent diabetics sought a retinal examination only when their vision got affected," said the survey.
The survey also reveals that 86 percent did not seek a retinal examination as they could see everything.
"Also, 68 percent did not know that Diabetic Retinopathy could be prevented and treated," said the survey.
"As many as 52.2 percent male smokers were detected as having Diabetic Retinopathy. As the duration of diabetes increased, so was the risk of diabetic retinopathy," said Shah.
"Diabetics having uncontrolled hypertension and cholesterol had increased prevalence of diabetic retinopathy. All diabetics with advanced diabetic kidney disease had diabetic retinopathy, whereas those in the initial stages were at increased risk," said Shah.
Asymptomatic burden of blindness which is preventable due to diabetic retinopathy can be tackled by increasing awareness and screening of individuals living with diabetes.