After near-sightedness, diabetes affecting the eyes (aka diabetic retinopathy) is the leading cause of impaired vision in adults. The key to preventing retinopathy is strict control of blood sugars, especially early in the course of diabetes. Controlling blood pressure and not smoking are of secondary importance.
MNT has the details on the global increase in retinopathy:
“The worldwide burden of diabetes-related vision loss is growing alarmingly. Over 2 decades from 1990-2010, the number of people worldwide with diabetes-related blindness or visual impairment rose by an alarming 27 percent and 64 percent, respectively. In 2010, 1 in every 52 people had vision loss and 1 in every 39 people were blind due to diabetic retinopathy – where the retina is damaged by diabetes.
The researchers suggest poor control of blood glucose and inadequate access to eye health services in many parts of the world are contributing to the growing global burden of diabetes-related vision loss.
These figures are the result of an analysis by a global consortium, who recently published their work online in the journal Diabetes Care.
As the number of people living with diabetes worldwide grows, so does the chance that more people will develop diabetic retinopathy and suffer subsequent vision loss, especially if they do not receive or adhere to the care they need.Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina that damages sight as a result of chronic high blood sugar in diabetes. The high sugar damages the delicate blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye.”