Although controlling diabetes might be difficult, did you know that it can also affect one's retinal health? Diabetes from childhood may increase the possibility of having eye problems at a younger age. It can lead to long-term eye problems, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract. Hence, parents and caregivers must take proactive measures to protect the children's vision.
In this article, Dr Ajay Sharma, Chief Medical Director, EyeQ, explained diabetic retinopathy and how to protect children with diabetes from eye damage.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy
People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. It may initially be asymptomatic or just minor vision abnormalities. However, it can cause blindness, if not treated in time.
Also Read: Diabetic Retinopathy: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention
How Are Children At A Risk
According to Dr Sharma, diabetic retinopathy is a risk for young people with juvenile diabetes (Type 1 diabetes), especially if they have had the disease for more than ten years. Even those with Type 2 diabetes are at risk of turning blind as a result of retinal problems caused by the disease.
Preventive Measures To Follow
Dr Sharma listed some preventive measures that should be followed to avoid complications of diabetes on our eye-health.
Keep Up With Routine Checkups
The management of diabetes and the health of the retina depends on routine medical exams. To discover and treat the eye disorders early, which can save one's eyesight, youngsters must also have thorough eye exams at least once a year.
Encourage Healthy Lifestyle
Parents must teach their children to adopt a healthy lifestyle and emphasise the value of leading a disciplined life. It consists of a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and enough sleep. Not only this, there should be a reduction in activities causing eye strain to prevent vision loss.
Beware Of The Symptoms
Dr Sharma said that it may be helpful to be aware of the disease's symptoms and treatment options. If a child notices hazy vision, spots or flashes, eye pain, decreased colour contrast, or any other inexplicable symptom, they must tell their parents right away. In case of any of these symptoms, get immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist or retina expert.
Also Read: Eyes Do Not Align Properly? Expert Explains Squint Eyes, Its Causes And Treatment Measures
Message From The Expert
Dr Sharma said that the main cause of blindness and poor eyesight in India is diabetic retinopathy. But regrettably, while vision is still clear until a late stage, most do not get discovered at the appropriate time. To prevent vision difficulties, we must inform the public to frequently check their eyes for diabetic retinopathy every year.
Dr Sharma concluded, "Retinal damage is rarely repairable due to diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial to have frequent exams for diabetes and eye health. Following a diagnosis and treatment compliance is essential for treating diabetic retinopathy. Practical diabetic education from parents can help children lead healthier lives and pave the road for a brighter future by preventing the beginning or advancement of eye disorders."
The information in the article is provided by an expert, however, we recommend you to consult with your expert for a better diagnosis according to your medical history.