New landmark study reveals adults with diabetes at unnecessary risk of vision loss

By John Kent
Despite vision loss being feared twice as much as other common complications of diabetes (including cardiovascular disease and stroke) a quarter of people with diabetes surveyed are not discussing eye complications with their health care professional, with many presenting when vision problems have already occured.1 These are some of the concerning insights into the current management of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) revealed by the DR Barometer Study, launched today via a unique collaboration of experts from the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Bayer Pharma AG.
The true impact of DR and DME was clearly highlighted throughout the DR Barometer Study, which shows that 79% of people with DR find that their vision loss makes activities such as driving, going to work and completing basic household tasks difficult, and in some cases impossible.1 Furthermore, 20% of people with DR or DME also cite that changes in their vision leave them less able to manage their diabetes, an issue reflected in individuals’ perception of their overall health, with over half of respondents with DR rating their physical health as ‘poor to fair’.1
“Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the working-age population of most developed countries and the sight loss caused by this condition can have a profound impact on both an individual’s quality of life and their ability to work,” said Peter Ackland, Chief Executive Officer, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). “DR and DME can be successfully managed with the right screening and treatment, however many people with diabetes are being placed at unnecessary risk of vision loss due to barriers within the referral system and patient care pathway.”…..
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Source: Philly Purge