Diabetes can lead to eye problems

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Diabetes can lead to eye problems

Diabetes and hypertension can lead to several eye ailments, according to two ophthalmologists speaking in Dubai on Tuesday.

By Ali Zafar

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Published: Thu 28 Jun 2012, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:16 AM

“Our body system is interrelated and it does not take much time for a disease like diabetes to affect the eyes,” said Dr Ajay Aurora, who spoke alongside Dr Manoj Rai Mehta at a forum where over 90 doctors from across the UAE participated. The UAE has been ranked second highest worldwide for diabetes prevalence.

Aurora said figures show that there is a rise in diabetes in Dubai. Every fourth person in the Gulf region is diabetic.

One of the main eye diseases associated with diabetes and hypertension is retinopathy, which occurs when blood vessels in the retina swell and leak fluid or close off completely.

“In some cases, new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina,” Aurora said.

This can lead to vision characterised by patches of darkness and eventually blindness. Aurora noted that those who have been living with diabetes for over 20 years are at a 60 per cent risk of having their eyes affected by the disease.

Those who are currently diabetic or obese should be screened for eye diseases, the doctors said.

Diabetes is a chronic disease where a high level of blood sugar wreaks havoc on the body. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is caused by various factors including stress, anxiety and a diet heavy in sodium.

alizafar@khaleejtimes.com



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