City hospitals have been witnessing rapid increase in diabetic retinal disease, due to an increase in diabetes in the country, due to lack of timely treatment the condition leads to irreversible vision loss, said health experts on World Sight Day (October 14). It is estimated that by 2040, India will have the second-highest number of diabetes cases in the world with a proportionate rise in cases of preventable vision loss.
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a leading cause of blindness are chronic and progressive retinal diseases that can be effectively managed with early detection and timely treatment. But despite a great improvement of medical facilities in India, the hospital has seen an increase in visual impairment over the last few years, which is mainly due to poor awareness regarding eye diseases among patients.
Dr Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant Vitreoretinal Services, Sankara Nethralaya said, “We have seen a rapid increase in diabetic retinal disease, due to increase in diabetes in India, where timely diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance without which the condition can progress and may lead to irreversible vision loss. Especially among elderly people and those who are suffering from comorbid conditions such as diabetes should get their annual routine eye screening as this will help in early detection and timely treatment.” “Also, it is estimated that by 2040, India will have the second-highest number of diabetes cases in the world with a proportionate rise in cases of preventable vision loss,” he added.
According to research, 17.6 per cent to 28.9 per cent of diabetics suffer from diabetic retinopathy in the country, which is largely affecting India’s working-age population. For a nation with a population of 1.3 billion people, this translates into a significant disease burden as well as impacts on quality of life, productivity, and the economy.
“If a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, then it is compulsory for eye checkup every six months because the blood sugar affects the small blood vessel, which makes it weak and there would be leakage of fluid or blood. When they are at this stage of blood leakage from the eye, there will be a sudden loss of vision, and we have been receiving more patients for the same issue, as they don’t get treatment in the initial stage,” said Dr Triveni, Senior Consultant – General Ophthalmology and Cataract Surgeon, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.
“Daibetic patients should visit doctors when they are having leakage of fluid, so it can be prevented from the next stage (blood leakage from the eyes) by controlling the blood sugar level. And performing surgery at this stage is difficult; it is not easy as other patients for eye surgery,” she added.