One in 3 diabetics sufferS from DME

Sarita Chahar
Sunday, 17 June 2018

Patients seek aid in advanced stages of eye problems due to poor awareness

Pune: Pointing to the lack of awareness among patients, Dr Nitin Prabhudesai, a city-based ophthalmologist, shared that patients approach ophthalmologists only in advanced stages of eye-related issues, specifically in retinal diseases. He added that the situation persists even when the city has 400 practising ophthalmologists. 

According to reports of National Statistics, India has six crore diabetics and one out of three diabetic patients develop Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Dr Raja Narayan, Secretary of Vitreo Retina Society of India (VRSI) & Head of Clinical Research, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, said, “Retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema are progressive conditions that can be managed effectively if diagnosed in a timely manner.

Therefore, it is vital to seek expert advice, as soon as one experiences the symptoms. Timely diagnosis can help slow the disease’s progression.”

Prabhudesai added that lack of awareness about retinal disease leads to late diagnosis. DME is chronic but manageable with effective treatment if patients are diagnosed at an early stage. Prabhudesai also shared that the reason behind having two crore people suffering from DME is lack of awareness about retinal diseases, which leads to late diagnosis.

According to experts, DME happens when damaged blood vessels leak in the macula causing it to swell and affect the centre vision. People suffering from diabetes have 25 times more risk of losing vision compared to the rest of the population, Dr Roopali Nerlikar, who is also an ophthalmologist from the city, said, “People are basically unaware that unless and until their vision is affected, they would not take a step. It can be determined through a normal eye check-up. There are no clear symptoms about it, it basically starts with problem in eyesight and with sugar level. In extreme cases, people might have problems with reading and writing.”

According to experts, patients suffering from diabetes should visit the ophthalmologist every six months to monitor sugar level.

The statistics
 There are six crore diabetics in India.
 1 out of 3 diabetic patients develop Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).
 Diabetics have 25 times more risk of losing vision compared to the rest of the population.

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