A vitreoretinal surgeon, Zeenat Shah, has urged Nigerians to go for a regular eye check to prevent diabetic retinopathy, Punch Newspaper reports.
Shah, in a statement on Tuesday, said, an estimated 10 per cent of people with diabetes in Nigeria may have sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy.
She said, “The longer you’ve had diabetes, the more likely you are to have retinopathy. Almost everyone with type one diabetes will eventually have non-proliferative retinopathy. And most people with type two diabetes will also get it. But the retinopathy that destroys vision, proliferative retinopathy, is far less common.”
“People who keep their blood sugar levels closer to normal are less likely to have retinopathy or to have milder forms. Your retina can be badly damaged before you notice any vision change. Most people with non-proliferative retinopathy have no symptoms.”
“Even with proliferative retinopathy, the more dangerous form, people sometimes have no symptoms until it is too late to treat them. For this reason, you should have your eyes examined regularly by an eye care professional.”
She added that there was the need to raise the awareness of diabetic retinopathy among Nigerians.
“November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, which aims to increase awareness of diabetes and diabetic eye disease and encourage people with diabetes to seek treatment for vision problems related to diabetes.”
“It is estimated that about 10 per cent of people with diabetes aged 40 years in Nigeria may have sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy. Several factors influence whether you get retinopathy; blood sugar control, blood pressure levels, how long you have had diabetes and genes,” Shah said.