According to ophthalmologists, diabetic macular edema (DME) is the leading cause of blindness. Chronic and progressive retinal diseases can be effectively managed with early detection and timely treatment, but doctors are seeing rise in visual impairment over the last few years, mainly due to poor awareness about eye diseases.
“We have seen a rapid increase in diabetic retinal disease where timely diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance, without which the condition can progress and may lead to irreversible vision loss. Especially elderly people and those suffering from comorbid conditions such as diabetes should do annual eye screening, which will help in early detection and timely treatment,” advised Dr Rajiv Raman, senior consultant, vitreoretinal services, Sankara Nethralaya.
Studies say 17.6 to 28.9 per cent of diabetics in the country suffer from diabetic retinopathy, which is largely affecting the working-age population. It is compulsory for diabetics to do eye checkup every six months because the blood sugar affects the small blood vessel, making it weak and leakage of fluid or blood, said Dr Triveni, senior consultant – general ophthalmology and cataract surgeon, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.
“When they are at the stage of blood leakage from the eye, there will be a sudden loss of vision. We have been receiving more such patients because they don’t get treatment in the initial stage,” said Dr Triveni. “Diabetes patients should visit doctors when they have fluid leakage, so the next stage (blood leakage from the eyes) can be prevented by controlling the blood sugar level,” she added.