Dubai: With thousands of people around the UAE joining walks in support of awareness to the cause this year, the attention on the disease has become increasingly recognisable. The lifestyle of an average UAE resident has changed in the recent past, with healthier diets and more active lifestyle choices being made available and opted for.
However, despite the rising trends in awareness, diabetes is still highly underdiagnosed. The International Diabetes Federation has released data which highlights that one in two adults with diabetes are undiagnosed.
How diabetes affects your eyes
Many people are not aware of the threats diabetes poses to their eyesight. This lack of insight along with delay in the diagnosis and improper management often leads to eye disorders. In fact, very few people are aware that diabetes can cause blindness. Regular eye checkups are important for early diagnosis and timely management of diabetes-related problems:
1. The most common condition caused by diabetes that affects the eye is Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). It is considered the chief cause of blindness amongst working-age adults. The main problem of this condition is that it generally goes unnoticed until the loss has occurred.
2. Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a condition that is often a consequence of DR. If left untreated, this condition causes swelling inside the retina. DME commonly causes blurred vision, floaters or waviness of vision.
3. Cataract may either appear at an early age or progress faster amongst people suffering from diabetes. Cataract is mainly caused due to increased glucose levels in the eye lens leading to its clouding.
4. Glaucoma affects the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain and is generally a result of increased pressure inside the eye. Hazy or blurred vision, pain in the eye, headache, nausea, and appearance of coloured circles while looking at bright light are a few symptoms of glaucoma.
A healthy lifestyle and nutritious eating habits along with some form of regular physical activity will ensure that you lead a disease-free life. Sincere changes towards improving your overall way of living will keep the ailments and diseases at bay, thus enabling you to have a more enjoyable and wholesome life.
The writer is ophthalmology specialist, iCARE multi-specialty clinics