Peo­ple at risk of los­ing sight due to lack of reg­u­lar health checks

The Wharf - - Focus -

Di­a­betes af­fects an es­ti­mated 4.6 mil­lion peo­ple in the UK1 , yet 40% of the Bri­tish pub­lic are un­aware that blind­ness is one of di­a­betes’ big­gest com­pli­ca­tions2.

Spec­savers is ded­i­cated to rais­ing aware­ness of good eye care in both de­tect­ing and man­ag­ing the con­di­tion – es­pe­cially as re­search from Spec­savers and the Royal Na­tional In­sti­tute of Blind Peo­ple (RNIB) shows one in five adults are un­aware that op­ti­cians can check for in­di­ca­tors of the con­di­tion3.

Dr Nigel Best, clin­i­cal spokesper­son at Spec­savers says: ‘Di­a­betes is one of the fastest grow­ing health con­di­tions to­day – fu­elled by record lev­els of obe­sity, ex­ces­sive sugar con­sump­tion and seden­tary life­styles. If we con­tinue to turn a blind eye to the risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes as a re­sult, we can only ex­pect to see the num­ber of un­di­ag­nosed cases es­ca­late.

‘Di­a­betic retinopa­thy is one of the lead­ing causes of blind­ness among peo­ple of work­ing age in the UK4 so it’s hugely im­por­tant that di­a­betes is de­tected early and mon­i­tored cor­rectly to avoid fur­ther­ing the risks.

‘At Spec­savers, we of­fer dig­i­tal reti­nal pho­tog­ra­phy. This takes a de­tailed pic­ture of the back of your eye and the mi­cro­cir­cu­la­tion of blood – help­ing to highlight in­di­ca­tors of di­a­betes that need ad­dress­ing.

Eye screen­ing is also a key part of your di­a­betes care and peo­ple with di­a­betes should have rou­tine screen­ings done ev­ery one to two years by an op­tometrist. Con­tact your lo­cal GP or lo­cal di­a­betic screen­ing ser­vice for more in­for­ma­tion.

So­phie Castell, Di­rec­tor of Re­la­tion­ships at RNIB, says: ‘Sadly, all too of­ten, peo­ple with di­a­betes can lose their sight due to com­pli­ca­tions. Yet with early de­tec­tion and treat­ment, sight loss due to di­a­betic retinopa­thy can be prevented. Reg­u­lar eye tests are im­por­tant for every­one, but es­pe­cially for peo­ple liv­ing with di­a­betes who should also en­sure they at­tend ap­point­ments for spe­cial­ist di­a­betic eye screen­ing. It’s a few min­utes that could save your sight.’

1 https://www.di­a­­sources-s3/2017-11/ di­a­betes_in_the_uk_2010.pdf

2 https://www.di­a­­peo­ple-un­aware-di­a­betes-can-lead-to-blind­ness

3 State of the Na­tion’s Eye Health, Spec­savers/ RNIB 2016­edge-and-re­search-hubre­search-re­ports/pre­ven­tion-sight-loss/sta­te­ofthen­ation

4­fault/files/RNIB_ ev­i­dence_based_re­view_of_­work­ing_age_peo­ple.pdf

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