Retinopathy, major fallout of diabetes

Retinopathy, major fallout of diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy or complications of diabetes in the retina is one of the most prevailing eye diseases in the Arab world, primarily due to the high diabetes.



By Olivia Olarte

Published: Thu 16 Feb 2012, 11:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:40 PM

Diabetic retinopathy or complications of diabetes in the retina is one of the most prevailing eye diseases in the Arab world, primarily due to the high prevalence of diabetes.

“This is a major concern to the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) area because of the high prevalence of diabetes that we have in the region, it’s almost around 25 per cent of the population,” stated Dr Abdulaziz Ibrahim AlRajhi, President of the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and President of WOC 2012. He was speaking on Thursday at the opening day of the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012 in the Capital where MEACO is the organiser.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of blindness and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. After 15 years of diabetes, approximately two per cent of people become blind and about 10 per cent develop severe visual impairment. “The latest advances in ophthalmology seems to be more in the direction of retina and particularly in the treatment for macular degeneration, which is an increasing problem as well as treatment of diabetic retina, a condition that is particularly growing in this Middle East area,” Dr Bruce Spivey, President of the International Council of Ophthalmology, observed.

Dr AlRajhi said that the Middle East and North African (MENA) region has the highest percentage of people with visual impairment.

The WOC, which is being hosted for the first time in the MENA region, has attracted over 10,000 experts from 136 countries. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of delegates (572) followed by the UAE (412), Germany (406), US (404) and India (400).

The five-day congress, which is currently being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) will host an extensive scientific programme with over 2,200 international speakers, about 480 of whom are from the MENA, talking about new techniques, trends and technology in the eye-health industry and the latest innovations in curing and preventing blindness. Over 100 scientific papers will be presented by experts from the UAE.

olivia@khaleejtimes.com


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