ICLDC supports drive against vision loss
Abu Dhabi, September 8, 2008
Abu Dhabi’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) has come out in support of the Ramadan Noor Dubai campaign against potential blindness by Sheikh Mohammed, UAE’s vice president and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
The college has confirmed that if left undetected Diabetes retinopathy can lead to vision loss and blindness.
ICLDC’s Dr Maha Taysir Barakat warned that eye disease in both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes patients can lead to total vision loss.
However, Dr Maha also shared some good news in advising that total blindness be prevented in 90 per cent of cases, if Diabetes and retinopathy are diagnosed early.
More than 19.5 per cent of the UAE population is said to be living with Diabetes. Meanwhile, retinopathy affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide and is found to be prevalent in 21 per cent of type 2 Diabetes patients and almost everyone with type 1 Diabetes.
Dr Maha warned that although Diabetic retinopathy is a relatively common complication in individuals with Diabetes, very often the patient will be unaware of the risks, as well as the ease of management, if it is detected early.
“The reality is that anyone living with Diabetes is at risk of developing some degree of impairment to vision,” Dr Maha said.
She advised that risk of vision loss can be minimised by maintaining blood glucose levels and blood pressure within the normal range.
However, she warned that there are very few symptoms during the early stages of Diabetic retinopathy and that vision may not change until the disease has advanced.
“People living with Diabetes can reduce the risk of complications, such as retinopathy, by managing lifestyle and by having regular medical checks” she stressed.
“We believe that public health education is crucial and, in support of Sheikh Mohammed’s Noor Dubai initiative, ICLDC is committed to continuing to drive awareness on the treatment and prevention of Diabetes and its complications through our ‘Diabetes.Knowledge.Action.’ campaign, in partnership with Emirates Foundation.”
Dr Maha also confirmed that the early detection of pre-Diabetes can lead to the prevention of full blown Diabetes, and so greatly reduce the risk of related complications, including blindness.-TradeArabia News Service