Scientific research indicates that diabetes is the top cause of blindness among adults aged between 20-74 years.
This is because high blood sugar can permanently damage blood vessels in the eyes. This information is part of the public outreach campaign launched by Saudi German Hospital-Dubai during Diabetes Awareness Month.
The condition, called diabetic retinopathy, causes blood vessels to thicken, leak, develop clots, close or expand. Another consequence is fluid accumulation in crucial parts of the retina used in tasks such as reading.
Dr. Reem Osman, CEO of Saudi German Hospital-Dubai explained: “Blindness is a serious issue that could permanently change a person’s life. However our hospital is showing Dubai that where there’s awareness, there’s hope. We are empowering people with the information to make healthier lifestyle choices. By encouraging people to get their blood sugar tested, we are helping them to control diabetes – or better yet prevent it altogether – and hence minimize their risk of blindness.”
A diabetic’s ability to see is compromised by high blood sugar, which causes the eye lens to swell. However diabetes experts at Saudi German Hospital-Dubai, who have decades of experience in treating this condition at some of the world’s most respected hospitals, emphasised that there is a bright side because the solution is in patients’ hands. For example by carefully monitoring their sugar intake, patients can regain normal eyesight in as little as three months.
There is also optimistic news for those who already have retinopathy, since a healthier diet and regular medical monitoring can prevent the existing symptoms from worsening.
Explaining the hospital’s plans for Diabetes Awareness Month, Dr. Reem said: “We don’t believe in waiting for patients to come to us; we proactively reach out to the public to prevent blindness among other negative effects of this disease, because everybody deserves to see their loved ones and live the healthy life they dream of. Throughout November we will have a wide range of activities including free blood sugar tests and monitoring through our sophisticated facilities. As an institution with a crystal clear vision for the future, we will keep an eye on innovative ways to combat diabetes side effects in Dubai.”
Saudi German Hospital-Dubai will be advocating Diabetes Awareness Month between 17-30th November by performing free blood sugar and eyesight tests. Patients undergoing these tests will get a 50 per cent discount for an in-depth consultation with the hospital’s finest and most renowned eye specialists, Dr. Khaled Al Ghofaili and Dr. Vladmir.
Additionally, Ministry of Education Day on the 22nd of November further benefits patients, when consultations will be available by a male and female doctor as well as a 50 per cent discount on cholesterol tests, for patients undergoing free tests on that day.