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Diabetes-related eye diseases is the leading cause of blindness in India, says study

December 14, 2018

Eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Being affected by a disease like diabetes can affect your eye sight in many ways. Some of the most common diabetes related eye diseases are diabetic retinopathy, blurry vision, cataracts and glaucoma. In fact, some of these can even lead to permanent blindness.

A study has pointed out that visual impairment due to diabetes related diseases is one of the leading causes of blindness in India, especially among the age group of 20 to 55 years. With over 72 million population of diabetes patients in India, this matter has to be considered seriously.

Lack of awareness is the prime reason to why people, especially in rural areas, refuse to take medications for diabetes. Most of them turn up for a doctor visit only once they realise that they are turning blind. By then, it's too late.

Dr Sindhu is an ophthalmologist who is currently doing her research in the United States.

When I used to work in a rural part of Karnataka, I have seen many cases where people walk for kilometres to get treatment only after they start becoming blind. But no treatment can help them by then. Treatments for diabetes related eye diseases must begin in the initial stages. Once you lose your eye sight, it is lost forever. Poverty also plays a major role. I think the government must hold free diabetic screening camps in rural parts so that people from economically backward families can get their eyes screened. Otherwise, India is going to be the world's capital for diabetes related eye diseases by next year- Dr Sindhu, Opthalmologist

Over 10 years back, the United Kingdom had set up a programme for diabetic eye screening. This has yielded a lot of results. Diabetes is no longer a cause of blindness in the country. This is how timely screening can help. Implementing this in India is going to help millions of people in both rural and urban areas.

One of the ideal ways to save yourself from blindness caused from diabetes related eye diseases are to visit an ophthalmologist every six months, especially if you have diabetes.

"Diabetes related eye diseases are very common in India, especially for people above 40 years of age. I would say that prevention is better than cure. So make sure that you consult a doctor at least every six months. There are many diabetes related diseases that can cause blindness. So the doctor must identify them before suggesting further treatments. Make sure that regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle is adopted", says Dr Karthika A, Ophthalmologist

Like how experts point out, regular screening for your eyes and ensuring that you have a healthy lifestyle can do wonders. Diabetes can be caused by hereditary factors and even lifestyle patterns. Make sure that you are safe from hazardous health problems.

ALSO READ: 5 tips to reduce risk of eye diseases



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