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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 355

Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among diabetics.

Correspondence Address:
L Verma

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12532507

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How to cite this article:
Verma L, Elankumaran P, Prakash G, Venkatesh P, Tewari HK. Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among diabetics. Indian J Ophthalmol 2002;50:355

How to cite this URL:
Verma L, Elankumaran P, Prakash G, Venkatesh P, Tewari HK. Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among diabetics. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2002 [cited 2020 May 29];50:355. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2002/50/4/355/14750

  Dear Editor, Top

It is not uncommon to see a diabetic in advanced stages of retinopathy because of irregular follow-up examination. To reduce blindness associated with diabetic retinopathy, we must identify and treat high-risk persons before severe loss of vision occurs.

Ninety-three diabetics participated in an interview specially designed to assess the awareness of retinopathy caused by diabetes. The mean age of the patients was 52.3 years; 73 (78.5%) of 93 were male patients; 86 (92.5%) of 93 were literate; and 81 (87%) of 93 were well settled in an urban locality. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was <6/60 in 29 (31.2%) of 93 patients. In spite of the fact that 73 (78.5%) of 93 were under the care of either a diabetologist or general physician and 64 (87.7%) of 73 patients had regular follow-up, only 4 (5.5%) of 73 had ocular examination.

An estimated 2-5% of all diabetics have proliferative diabetic retinopathy.[1] If not treated, this could cause blindness in more than 50%.[2] Currently, even diabetics, leave alone the general population, are not made aware of the ocular complications of diabetes and the need of regular yearly eye examination. The stark contrast in the figures of 87.7% (regular follow-up) and 5.5% (evaluated for eye disease) should not leave any doubt about the sad state of affairs facing our diabetics.

We have to strive together to create awareness of the importance of routine eye evaluation for all diabetics as this blindness (once set in) is largely irreversible. The need of the hour is for all health care providers to make the patient aware of the ocular complications of diabetes, at least for those attending any sort of health care clinic.

  References Top

Liebowitz HM, Krueger DE, Maunder LR, Milton RC, Kini MM, Kahn HA et al. The Framingham Eye Study Monograph: An ophthalmological and epidemiological study of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and visual acuity in a general population of 2,631 adults, 1973-1975. Surv Ophthalmol, 1980; 24 (suppl): 335-610  Back to cited text no. 1
Caird FI, Pirie A, Ramsell TG. Diabetes and the Eye. Oxford, England: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1968. pp 76-77, 93-100  Back to cited text no. 2

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