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Diabetes is a major cause of blindness. On diagnosis of diabetes, for every five patients one will have diabetic related eye damage.
Normal vision is not a guarantee that you do not have potentially blinding eye damage if you are a diabetic patient. Diabetic related eye damage is largely painless and visual loss from diabetes complications is permanent. 90% of diabetic related blindness can be prevented or treated by the following simple steps:

  • A dilated eye examination at the time one is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Dilated eyes check at least once a year there after.
  • Retina Laser treatment.

The screening should be done by an Eye Specialist and not an Optician. As a diabetic patient, you MUST have a comprehensive eye check once per year.

Diabetes damages the retinal blood vessels resulting in poor blood supply to the retina. This results in poor vision and may lead to growth of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina. The latter then result in recurrent bleeding episodes and retinal detachment. These two conditions are the leading cause of blindness in diabetic patient.

Diabetes may also result in abnormal leakage of the blood constituents through the walls of the retina blood vessels resulting in retina swelling and inability of read.
It is a well known fact that diabetic patient develop cataracts(clouding of the lens) more often that the non-diabetic population and are at higher risk of developing Glaucoma (painless elevation of eye pressures resulting in optic nerve damage and permanent blindness) compared to the non-diabetic population.

The standard of care is that every diabetic patient should undergo a dilated retina exam;

  1. At the time he/she was diagnosed with the disease
  2. At least once a year thereafter.

It is important to understand that Opticians do not have the necessary training to diagnose diabetic eye disease and diabetic patients should only visit Ophthalmologists for their appointment.

You should visit an Eye Specialist once per year for routine checkup. For more information Contact Upper Hill Eye & Laser Centre (UHEAL) Nairobi Kenya or any other eye specialist near you.