WORLD DIABETES DAY
Today, Wednesday 14th November is World Diabetes Day, it’s a day when millions of people around the world come together to raise awareness of diabetes.
This World Diabetes Day we are raising awareness of eye conditions related to diabetes. All of which, if caught early can be prevented!
Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve.
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes.
- Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.
- Diabetic macular edema (DME). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula.
Diabetic eye disease also includes cataract and glaucoma:
- Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. Adults with diabetes are 2-5 times more likely than those without diabetes to develop cataract. Cataract also tends to develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
- Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve—the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the eye to the brain. Some types of glaucoma are associated with elevated pressure inside the eye. In adults, diabetes nearly doubles the risk of glaucoma.
All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness.
How can you reduce the risk?
You can reduce your risk of developing retinopathy, or help to stop it from getting worse, by:
- Controlling your blood glucose level (also known as blood sugar level).
- Tightly controlling your blood pressure.
- Controlling your cholesterol levels.
- Keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Giving up smoking. Nerve damage, kidney and cardiovascular disease are more likely in smokers with Diabetes. Smoking increases your blood pressure and raises your blood sugar level, which makes it harder to control your Diabetes.
- Getting regular retinal screening. The most effective thing you can do to prevent sight loss due to diabetic retinopathy is to go to your retinal screening appointments. Early detection and treatment can stop you from losing sight. If you’re pregnant and have gestational diabetes, you will have retinal screenings more often during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
If you, or anyone you know have diabetic eye disease, we are here to help support you.