‘Diabetes related eye defects curable, if detected early’....By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Nearly 200 patients visit the Eye Hospital every month with defects caused by diabetes.
The Colombo Eye hospital had special programmes to mark The World Diabetes day yesterday (14). The main event was an awareness programme organised by Specialists of the Hospital for patients.
The Director of the Eye Hospital, Champa Banagala told them diabetes did not have an age barrier; even those below fifteen years of age were prone to it.
Twenty per cent of the city dwellers and eight per cent from the villages were affected.
There were two types of diabetes, type 1 and 2. Ninety per cent of those below the age of 15 suffering from type 1 diabetes may even go blind. Twenty per cent suffering from type 2 show visual defects. By the age of 15 these patients would lose 60 per cent of their sight.
Giving statistics Dr. Banagala said that in September there had been 182 diabetic patients with eye defects and in October there were 177.
Altogether there were around 200 diabetic patients visiting the Eye Hospital, he said.
In a survey conducted in 1999, it had been revealed that out of 680 diabetic patients, 31 had lost there sight. However, another survey would be conducted as there could be a possible increase in numbers.
Visual defects stemming from diabetes could be completely cured with laser treatment. Therefore Dr. Banagala urged diabetic patients to test their eyes annually to seek early treatment if they had signs of visual defects.