Diabetes has become a public health problem in the world and in Peru around 1.4 million people over 15 suffer from this disease, according to figures from the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
This disease is caused by an increase in glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Since the diagnosis, it is important that patients maintain adequate control, because it can involve other organs, such as the eyes, kidneys and brain, explained Dr. Hector Palacios, specialist Ophthalmic Clinic of the Vision.
"Diabetes directly damages the eyes, affecting different areas of this organ, but more to the retina. Lesions in this layer produce diabetic retinopathy, ocular affection that occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the retinal blood vessels," he said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1% of the main causes of visual disability in the world are produced by diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy appears as an early symptom of mild lesions in the retinal veins, mikroaneurisma, microhemorrhages 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, organisms create new vessels when trying to supply blood; However, they are not normal and do not provide proper blood flow.
In addition, this disease can be produced by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is caused by problems in the immune system, while type 2 develops at any time in the patient's life and his appearance is related to eating habits and lifestyle.
What to do?
Palacios explained that the treatment for this disease is surgery. At present there are two procedures: laser photocoagulation (which destroys the abnormal retinal structure) and vitrectomy (a technique that removes transparent, vitreous gels that fills the ocular cavity).
In addition, there are drugs that prevent the formation of abnormal blood vessels, which are applied by intravitreal injection (inside 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 experience severe vision loss.
Therefore, specialists recommend diabetic patients to carry out routine monitoring with their endocrinologists. In addition, he said, it is important to carry out frequent checks, according to what the specialist shows.
Finally, he suggests choosing a balanced diet, exercising and avoiding alcoholic drinks. The clinic will conduct a campaign dedicated to the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy in diabetic patients from November 12 to November 30.