Diabetes has become a public health problem in the world and in Peru approximately 1.4 million people over 15 years old suffer from this disease, according to the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
This disease is caused by increased levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Since its diagnosis, it is important that the patient maintains adequate control, as it could involve other organs, such as eyes, kidneys and the brain, explained Dr. Héctor Palacios, specialist in Ophthalmic Vision Clinic.
"Diabetes directly generates the eyes, affecting different areas of this organ, but to a greater extent to the retina. The lesion in this layer generates diabetic retinopathy, the ocular condition that occurs when high levels of blood sugar damage the blood vessels of the retina" said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1% of the main causes of visual impairment are generated through diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy presents as initial symptoms small lesions in the retinal blood vessels, microanoromas, microhomorragia and even inflammation of the macula, the central part of the retina that allows reading and viewing details.
On the other hand, in more advanced cases, the organism creates new vessels when trying to supply blood; However, they are abnormal and do not provide the correct blood flow.
In addition, the disease can be generated by diabetes type 1 or type 2. Type 1 is caused by a problem in the immune system, while type 2 develops at any time in the patient's life and its appearance is related to dietary habits and style of life
What to do?
Palacios explained that the treatment for this disease is surgery. There are currently two procedures: laser photocoagulation (which destroys the abnormal structures of the retina) and vitrectomy (a technique that eliminates the glassy and transparent gel that fills the ocular cavity).
In addition, there are medications that prevent the formation of abnormal blood vessels, which are applied through intravitreal injections (within the eye).
On the other hand, if patients are examined in a timely manner and follow standard treatment guidelines, less than 5% of diabetics will develop severe vision loss.
Therefore, the specialist recommended that diabetic patients may be regularly monitored with their endocrinologist. In addition, he said, it is important to carry out frequent examinations, according to the specialist.
Finally, he suggests choosing a balanced diet, exercising and avoiding alcoholic beverages. This clinic will carry out a campaign dedicated to the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy in diabetic patients from November 12 to November 30.