Protect your Eyes from Diabetes


Oct 1, 2012
We all have heard how diabetes causes kidney failures, heart attacks and paralysis. But how many of us know that it can cause serious eye problems? India, home to 40 million diabetics, is notorious as the Diabetic Capital of the world. Diabetes occurs when the level of sugar in the blood becomes higher than normal. Diabetes puts one’s eyes at higher risk of various eye diseases like Cataract (clouding of the lens of our eye), Glaucoma (damage from high eye pressure) and Diabetic Retinopathy (damage to the back of the eye called the retina). The longer you have had diabetes, the higher are your chances of developing eye problems. If diabetes is diagnosed before the age of 30, the occurrence of Diabetic Retinopathy after 10 years is 50%, rising to 90% after 30 years. That means, if you have had Diabetes for 30 years, it is highly likely that you are suffering from eye damage. And you may not even know it! Mr. Dhiren Shah, a businessman from Vashi, learnt this the hard way. “I had no trouble with my eyesight. Or it probably might have been too minor for me to notice. I was very particular with getting my blood checked regularly. But normally, you would not think of going to an eye doctor unless you have any troubles. Neither did I. It was only when I happened to accompany my wife to an eye doctor in Mumbai that I decided to get my eyes checked on a whim.” Mr. Shah was stunned when he was told by the Retina Specialist that Diabetes had already caused significant damage to his eyes! Dr Haresh Asnani, Eye Doctor in Mumbai, who treated Mr. Haresh Shah says, “Diabetics should get their retinas checked at least once every year from the time they are diagnosed. If a disease has already set in, then they would require more frequent checks, as deemed necessary by their Retina Specialist. Sooner or later, Retinopathy tends to progress. If left untreated, 50% of those having advanced Diabetic Retinopathy will lose their vision within 2 years and 90% risk losing any useful vision after 10 years.” Mr Shah underwent laser treatment for his Diabetic Eye Disease. He is relieved that the disease had not progressed too much to need surgery, but he vows to take good care of his eyes henceforth. Eye Doctors in Mumbai are seeing a rise in the number of Diabetic Retinopathy cases as compared to what they saw earlier. With changing lifestyles causing an increase in the number of Diabetics, it is quite expected that there are more and more Diabetic Indians in the world. As the International Diabetes Federation puts it, The three most populous countries in the world are: China India Diabetics If you have a family member who is a Diabetic or have other factors – like obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, inactive lifestyle- that might put you at risk of Diabetes, do remember to get your blood sugars checked. If you already are a Diabetic, do remember to get your eyes checked by a Retina Specialist, at least once a year. * Name Changed to protect Privacy