Early detection can prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy

Kathmandu, November 13

Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology has warned that all forms of diabetic eye disease could potentially cause severe vision loss and blindness if not treated promptly.

Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision.

As diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should have their eyes checked regularly. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss.

“Diabetes damages and blocks retinal blood vessels. The vessels are weak and they bleed very easily which may affect the vision. Sight loss can be prevented if the disease is timely detected and treated,” said the release.

A report says that 21.6 per cent of diabetes patients were found to have been affected by various eye disorders in Nepal. Though 73 per cent of the patients said they were aware of diabetic retinopathy, only 39 per cent had undergone eye check-up before.

Around 89 per cent of patients were from the urban areas. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading preventable causes of visual impairment and blindness in Nepal.

According to International Diabetes Federation, an estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes.

Around 80 per cent of them are living in the developing world. There is no exact data of patients with diabetes in Nepal.