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How Diabetes Affects our Eyes

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Known to affect millions of people worldwide, Diabetes is a critical disease caused by high blood sugar levels in the body. This ailment can be categorized into Type 1 Diabetes, which is commonly developed in children; or Type 2 Diabetes, which is caused by a person's unhealthy lifestyle choices. Sufferers of Diabetes are urged to undergo regulated insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels and eventually mitigate the disease's fatal consequences.

Although there are options for managing Diabetes symptoms through medication and Insulin injections, this illness can also bring complications in our body; more commonly in our vision through what is called Diabetic Retinopathy. As explained by Dr. Nikki Fernandez, World Citi Med’s Opthalmology Consultant and Cataract Surgeon, Diabetic Retinopathy is a sight-threatening complication that eventually affects all patients with Diabetes, resulting in a severe and permanent visual loss that can affect both eyes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Diabetic Retinopathy accounted for approximately 5% of the reported cases of blindness worldwide. It is expected that by the year 2035, the number of individuals suffering from this complication will rise to about 592 million.

So when do you need to see an Opthalmologist? According to Dr. Fernandez, Initial Eye Evaluation should be performed at the time of diagnosis for patients with Type 2 Diabetes and within five (5) years for patients with Type 1 Diabetes. A diagnosis for Diabetic Retinopathy can be delivered during a comprehensive Dilated Fundus Exam, in which opthalmologists will instill eyedrops to dilate the pupil of the eye to help them clearly observe the retina and detect early signs of the disease.

During the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy, patients usually show no symptoms. In extreme cases, however, it can lead to permanent blindness. As diabetes progresses, a patient's vision may turn spotty; with straight lines appearing wavy and objects seemingly misshapen.

But don't lose hope—Diabetic Retinopathy can be prevented and properly managed when detected early. Depending on the patient's Fundus Exam results, eye surgeons may opt to perform eye injections, traditional surgery, laser surgery, or sometimes the combination of all three. 

What's the best remedy for Diabetes? It's simple! Just embrace healthy lifestyle habits, undergo regular eye exams, and take good control of your blood sugar. Through these best practices, you can avoid, delay or halt vision loss completely.

If you want to avail of an eye consultation, you may contact our Opthalmology Department at (02) 89138380 loc. 212, or connect with us on Messenger @World Citi Medical Center