Vision loss is one of the most common and serious complications of uncontrolled diabetes
14 November 2018 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates): Eye experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai will be on hand at community and corporate health events in the Emirate to mark World Diabetes Day 2018. According to Moorfields, vision loss is one of the most serious complications of uncontrolled diabetes and given that many people will be unaware they have diabetes until serious symptoms show, this means diabetes remains a serious health risk across the community and highlights the importance of regular vision screening.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and lifelong condition in which the absence or low levels of the hormone insulin, causes abnormally high levels of blood sugar in the body, damaging vital organs.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) there were over a million people living with diabetes in the UAE in 2017, although the prevalence is reported to be falling due to effective public health awareness campaigns. People living with the condition still face the daily challenge of managing their lifestyle to control their blood sugar levels and avoid serious complications. Many people in the community will already have diabetes but be unaware of this until symptoms show, which may be too late for effective prevention of serious complications such as diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.
The Moorfields community health outreach programme is supporting the ExpatWoman Festive Family Fair at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, and The Women’s Show (Health Awareness and Ladies Event, held under the patronage of Dubai Health Authority) at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai, on November 17th, where Moorfields consultants will explain more about the impact of diabetes on the eyes. In addition, a team from the hospital will provide guests at The Women’s Show with a medical history review, intra-ocular pressure tests and visual acuity checks.
Moorfields Dubai is also working with several corporate and governmental entities to provide awareness and support for employees.
Vision loss is one of the most common and frightening complications of diabetes and prevention starts with regular eye examinations with good diabetic and blood pressure control, but physical exercise can also play an important role. Research has shown that regular physical activity helps to reduce the risk of a range of diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, and improves the overall quality of life.
Once diagnosed, families need to try and build a healthy lifestyle and environment that includes a good diet with plenty of exercise for all family members, in order to help the patient manage the condition.
Commenting on the importance of World Diabetes Day, Dr. Ammar Safar, Medical Director, and Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, said: “The good news is that the UAE is doing very well at creating public awareness of the risk of diabetes and World Diabetes Day helps to get this message into the community and the workplace. People living with diabetes need to control their condition very carefully through lifestyle adjustments and regular monitoring in order to avoid serious complications such as Diabetic Retinopathy. The other good news is that with new advances in treatment, vision loss caused by the effects of diabetes on the retina can be treated and even restored, if diagnosed early.”
Moorfields recommends regular eye screening from an early age, and annual eye examinations for all people with diabetes, regardless of whether there are vision symptoms or not. More frequent eye examinations are needed if the patient has active Diabetic Retinopathy that may require treatment.