Diabetes, especially type 2, has continuously increased in South Africa throughout the years, with an estimated 4.6 million people recorded living with the illness in 2021.
With World Diabetes Day on the 14th of November, as optometrists, it’s very important to help you understand that diabetes can have a significant impact on your eyes, leading to potentially severe vision problems.
In this blog, we’ll give you some background information and statistics plus simple self-care tips that can make a difference to your eye health.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious eye condition that occurs as a result of prolonged high blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. It affects the blood vessels in the retina and the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eyes. Over time, these blood vessels can become damaged, leading to vision problems or even blindness.
In South Africa, Diabetic Retinopathy is a growing concern. A study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that approximately 11.3% of adults with diabetes in the country have some degree of Diabetic Retinopathy.
The best way to avoid Diabetic Retinopathy is early detection. Regular eye examinations at your nearest Vision Works store are essential, as this can help identify the condition in its early stages.
Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms to look out for: