Diabetes 'leading cause of blindness in adults'
Dubai, November 18, 2012
Diabetes is a leading cause for blindness among those in the age group between 20 to 74 years as high blood sugar can permanently damage blood vessels in the eyes, said a leading UAE medical expert.
The condition, called diabetic retinopathy, causes blood vessels to thicken, leak, develop clots, close or expand. Another consequence is fluid accumulation in crucial parts of the retina used in tasks such as reading, explained Dr Reem Osman, the CEO of Saudi German Hospital-Dubai.
She was speaking during a public outreach campaign in Dubai being organised by Saudi German Hospital-Dubai as part of its Diabetes awareness month.
"Blindness is a serious issue that could permanently change a person’s life. However our hospital is showing Dubai that where there’s awareness, there’s hope. We are empowering people with the information to make healthier lifestyle choices," said the expert.
"By encouraging people to get their blood sugar tested, we are helping them to control diabetes - or better yet prevent it altogether - and hence minimize their risk of blindness," Dr Reem stated.
A diabetic’s ability to see is compromised by high blood sugar, which causes the eye lens to swell. However diabetes experts at Saudi German Hospital-Dubai, who have decades of experience in treating this condition at some of the world’s most respected hospitals, emphasized that there is a bright side because the solution is in patients’ hands.
"For example by carefully monitoring their sugar intake, patients can regain normal eyesight in as little as three months. There is also optimistic news for those who already have retinopathy, since a healthier diet and regular medical monitoring can prevent the existing symptoms from worsening," she added.
Explaining the hospital’s 'Diabetes Awareness Month' concept, Dr Reem said: “We don’t believe in waiting for patients to come to us; we proactively reach out to the public to prevent blindness among other negative effects of this disease, because everybody deserves to see their loved ones and live the healthy life they dream of."
Saudi German Hospital-Dubai will be performing free blood sugar and eyesight tests during the Diabetes awareness month till November 30.
Patients undergoing these tests will get a 50 per cent discount for an in-depth consultation with the hospital’s renowned eye specialists, Dr Khaled Al Ghofaili and Dr Vladmir.
"Throughout November we will have a wide range of activities including free blood sugar tests and monitoring through our sophisticated facilities. As an institution with a crystal clear vision for the future, we will keep an eye on innovative ways to combat diabetes side effects in Dubai," she added.-TradeArabia News Service