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Diabetes is among the leading cause of blindness

September 13, 2021 11:53 am

Diabetes is among the top three factors that contribute to visual impairment for many individuals.

Pacific Eye Institute Consultant Ophthalmologist, Doctor Luisa Rauto says most people are unaware that they have diabetic retinopathy until the later stage.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes caused by high blood sugar levels, damaging the back of the eye which leads to blindness.

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Dr Rauto says diabetes retinopathy is a progressive disease.

“That’s the biggest challenge because people with diabetes may still see okay but they have very bad problems in the retina or the nerve inside the eye. We always had diabetes eye problem or diabetic retinopathy as one of those top three in the country as our causes for blinding eye diseases.”

She adds that early detection and treatment are key.

“We do have a screening program and if we pick it up early, we can prevent the blinding effect of the diabetic retina and that’s our aim for our screening program.”

Diabetic patients or Fijians at risk of developing diabetes are being urged to get an annual eye exam for early detection and prevent the worsening of possible eye diseases.

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