Diabetes-vision link not understood1 min read . Updated: 14 Apr 2014, 08:20 PM IST
About 1.85 million people have suffered blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, according to a report
An estimated 60 million people in India have diabetes, and six million of them suffer from sight-threatening retinopathy, a fallout of the disease, the Public Health Foundation of India said in a report on 12 April. It is estimated that the number of diabetes patients in India will rise to 80 million by 2030, the highest in the world.
About 1.85 million people have suffered blindness due to diabetic retinopathy (DR), according to the report. One out of five people with diabetes suffers from DR.
G.V.S. Murthy, director of the Indian Institute of Public Health (Hyderabad), says the evidence shows that early detection and management are key to control sight loss due to DR. Less than a third of diabetes physicians have a simple vision-checking chart in their clinics, the study found.
The study found that people have very little awareness about diabetes or the importance of regular eye tests. In fact, half the respondents didn’t know they had diabetes until they visited an eye clinic for vision issues. Over half the patients visiting ophthalmologists are found to have been suffering from diabetes for over 10 years, with 15% living with the condition for over 20 years and, therefore, putting themselves at high risk of sight loss. PTI