Diabetes, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world
Diabetes is among the leading causes of blindness in the world and mainly affects the population between 20 and 74 years of age; therefore, it is necessary to raise awareness among diabetics about the’importance of comprehensive ophthalmological checkups, since less than 50 percent of people with diabetes check their ocular fundus regularly and 25 percent do not frequently address eye complications with their doctor.
In addition to checking glucose levels
In addition to controlling blood glucose levels through diet, exercise, taking medications, and having insulin injections, people with diabetes need to be aware that this disease can affect various organs in the body and cause wound healing to slow down. In addition, it is good to know that a person with diabetes is 10 times more likely to go blind than the rest of the population. For this reason, experts at www.clinicabaviera.it, one of Europe’s leading ophthalmic companies, recommend that people with this disease have regular ophthalmic checkups, including an ocular fundus examination.
Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, in fact, are two visual retinal problems associated with diabetes and are among the leading causes of blindness in developed countries.
Consists of deterioration of the blood vessels that supply the retina, causing fluid or blood loss. If the disease progresses, new blood vessels form and fibrous tissue in the retina proliferates, resulting in deteriorating vision, while the image sent to the brain becomes blurred. Adequate glycemic control reduces the risk of developing the disease by 76 percent and slows its progression by 54 percent.
Diabetic macular edema. It consists of the accumulation of fluid at the level of the tissues of the macula that causes the thickening of the retina and has a higher prevalence in people with type two diabetes, which affects 7.9 percent of diabetics. The most characteristic symptom is loss of central vision that sometimes manifests as distorted perception of faces or other objects.
Medical experts at Clinica Baviera Italy have developed a series of tips and guidelines for diabetics to take care of their visual health:
Having frequent eye examinations
People with diabetes should have a thorough eye examination that includes pupil dilation so that the retina can be thoroughly examined and a digital photograph of the retina can also be taken.
Checking blood sugar levels at all times.
The’goal is to avoid hyperglycemia, because it increases the chances of having eye problems. When blood has high sugar levels, it circulates throughout the body, including the eyes, causing problems with both the retina and optical structures, such as the lens, increasing the risk of cataracts.
Blood pressure control
It should not be higher than 130/80, which are acceptable levels for people with diabetes. Therefore, it is necessary to measure blood pressure at least twice a year and always under medical supervision. In some cases, the doctor may consider the need for medication.
This bad habit is harmful to the retina, not only in diabetics, also in the general population.
Exercise, always done according to each person’s health status and possibilities, is essential. However, exercises that require a lot of exertion, such as weight lifting or activities that involve heavy contact (such as boxing or martial arts), should be avoided as they can be counterproductive to some eye problems.
Marco Moschi, medical director of Clinica Baviera Italy explains
“It’s very important to constantly check the eyesight of people with diabetes because 20% of type 1 diabetics have retinopathy at the time of diagnosis, 67% after 5 years after diagnosis and 95% after 15 or more years; on the other hand, many type 2 diabetics do not have retinopathy at the time of diagnosis, 30% have it at 5 years after diagnosis and 80% after 15 years after diagnosis.
With these data, it is evident how essential it is to perform check-ups to detect this disease early and reduce the’high level of late diagnosis. Inadequate lifestyles will naturally lead to an increase in this disease, and considering that the percentage of the population over 65 will continue to grow exponentially, it is estimated that diabetes will affect more than 20 percent of the European population in just 15 years, so prevention is the real cure. Therefore, when diagnosed with diabetes, it is a good idea for the patient to see an ophthalmologist and follow all these tips.”.