Abu Dhabi: The eyesight of 8,500 workers in Dubai Industrial City will be checked at a UK-based eye hospital, Gulf News learnt.

The eye test is meant to prevent glaucoma, cataract and corneal diseases that are commonly found among people with diabetes and may lead to a high rate of blindness.

Dr Chris Canning, Chief Executive and Medical Director of the UK Moorfields Eye Hospital, said the survey is an initiative to prevent risk factors related to diabetes, one of which involves eye complications.

"Workers constitute an important and major proportion of the population. We will start with a pilot-study then examine the whole lot. This is a very important initiative to help us understand what results can come up with a random survey," said Canning.

According to findings published by the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) after 15 years of diabetes, approximately two per cent of people become blind, and about 10 per cent develop severe visual impairment.

The pilot study is due to begin next month. "If one out of 20 workers has the condition, we will intervene and help. We want to encourage screening processes among various sectors in the UAE population," said Canning.