Ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14, city doctors said awareness of retinopathy — damage to the eye’s retina — among diabetics is poor. Retinopathy may occur over time owing to elevated blood sugar levels.
“The symptoms do not show for many years from the onset of the disease. That is one of the reasons for poor awareness,” said Dr Girish Parmar, consultant endocrinologist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Andheri. “Patients visit doctors only when symptoms such as bleeding in the eye and loss of vision show. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to correct this,” he added.
Dr Tejas Shah, endocrinologist from Malad, said 20% of all his patients with diabetes have retinopathy. “The only solutions for retinopathy are lasers and injections. These do not correct vision loss but prevent further damage,” he added.
Doctors said diabetics must get their eyes checked by a certified ophthalmologist at least once a year. “Vision loss is irreversible. Diabetics must prevent as much damage as possible,” said Dr Snehal Tanna, diabetologist, Jupiter Hospital, Thane.