Health Lifestyle

‘63% Indians not aware that diabetes can spoil retina too’

‘63% Indians not aware that diabetes can spoil retina too’

Mumbai: As many as 63 per cent of the Indians are not aware that diabetes affects the retina too apart from other body parts, revealed a survey on Tuesday.

“It was found that 63 per cent tested positive for diabetes were not aware that the disease affects the retina too. As many as 92 per cent diabetics sought a retinal examination only when their vision got affected,” said the survey.

The survey also reveals that 86 per cent did not seek a retinal examination as they could see everything.

“Also, 68 per cent did not know that Diabetic Retinopathy could be prevented and treated,” said the survey.

“Asymptomatic burden of blindness which is preventable due to diabetic retinopathy can be tackled by increasing awareness and screening of individuals living with diabetes.

“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.

A total of 6,000 Type 2 Diabetics were screened at city’s Diabetes and Thyroid Care Centre for the survey.

She said that out of those surveyed and detected with Diabetic Retinopathy, 60.8 per cent were from the working class age group of 40 to 70 years and 21.8 per cent had vision threatening diabetic retinopathy.

“As many as 52.2 per cent 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.