An interview with Dr. Prema about diabetes as world diabetes day is celebrated globally on November 14 led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day is 14 November the birthday of Frederick Banting, whose work with Charles Best led to the discovery of insulin in 1921. It was created in 2006 to support a campaign for a United Nations Resolution of Diabetes as a response to the growing global diabetes pandemic.
Dr. Prema is a lead consultant in Westminster healthcare, Nungambakkam. She always knew that she wanted to be a doctor. More than 36yrs she is into eye service, in 1982 she passed her MS (Ophthalmology). When asked her inspiration as normally female doctors prefer Gynecology, she said that the reason to choose ophthalmology and her main inspiration is Late Dr.Tahira Agarwal (Founder Agarwal eye hospitals Pvt.ltd).
Asking her about the diabetes awareness and possible ways it affects the eyes, she gave a brief note on that
Diabetes, Symptoms, treatment and its early diagnosis
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is high. Different kinds of diabetes can occur and managing the condition depends on the type of diabetes that can be type 1, type 2, type3 diabetes, gestational diabetes. Not all forms of diabetes stem from a person being overweight or leading an inactive lifestyle. In fact she said some are present from childhood (which is type1 diabetes).
How diabetes affect one’s eyes?
There few ways diabetes can affect one’s eyes and vision. High blood sugar can lead to problems like blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.
Blurred Vision: When a person has blurred vision they go to an eye doctor for checkup and they are examined and prescribed glasses, but if the blurred vision is due to diabetes wherein there is a swelling in the normal human lens in the eye. That swelling produces blurry vision. So in a diabetic it is better to control the blood sugar before they go in for change of glasses.
Cataracts: Cataracts comes in a diabetic earlier than in normal people. Normally cataracts come when a patient is above 55 years of age. Normally the human eye lens is clear and transparent. When it becomes opaque it is called cataracts.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs more commonly in people with diabetes. Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure of the eye is higher than normal. Normal pressure of the eye is between 14-17 millimeters of Hg. However there is also a condition called low tension Glaucoma which fortunately is not very common.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which high blood sugar causes retinal blood vessels to swell and leak blood.
Who’s at the most risk for diabetic retinopathy?
Fluctuating blood sugar levels increase risk for this disease, as doe’s long-term diabetes. Most people don’t develop diabetic retinopathy until they’ve had diabetes for at least 10 years.
Is there any way to prevent diabetic retinopathy?
Keeping your blood sugar at an even level can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. If you have high blood pressure, keeping that under control is helpful as well. Even controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, so you should have your eyes examined once a year; that way, your doctor can begin treating any retinal damage as soon as possible.
What are the different types of diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is classified as either nonproliferative or proliferative. Nonproliferative retinopathy is the early stage, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak. In proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels grow abnormally within the retina. This new growth can cause scarring or a retinal detachment, which can lead to vision loss. The new blood vessels may also grow or bleed into the vitreous humor, the transparent gel filling the back of the eye in front of the retina.
Is diabetic retinopathy curable?
No. Early treatment can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but is not likely to reverse any vision loss.
What diabetic retinopathy treatments are currently available?
The best treatment is to keep your diabetes under control; blood pressure control also helps. Your doctor may decide on laser photocoagulation to cause regression of leaking blood vessels and prevent new blood vessel growth. If blood gets into the vitreous humor, your doctor might want to perform a procedure called a vitrectomy.
Also, there are a number of new diabetic retinopathy treatment options currently in clinical trials or other stages of development.