AN estimated 13.5% of the country’s population who are believed to live with diabetes are at risk of developing blindness, says the Director of the Eye Department, Dr Claude Posala.
Dr Claude said it is vital to do early eye screening with diabetes patients for the sole reason of early detection of sight threatening complications.
“Diabetes blindness is avoidable when detected early, but unavoidable when detected late”, he said.
He said it will be only effective to take Treatment for diabetic eye complications at an appropriate early time where he said once eye complications are detected late, no treatment will save vision which will lead to permanent blindness, he said.
Getting an initial eye check is crucial if you have Diabetes because it will help to detect any complications in the eyes that can further develop to cause blindness.
With no eye check, a person living with Diabetes will not be able to fully protect themselves from further eye complications, he added.
He said once early changes due to Diabetes are detected; a Diabetic person will have a better chance of knowing the status of their vision in relation to Diabetes.
As part of the World Sight Day celebrations this year which falls this week and will be marked today, the National Eye Division, Eye Department of the National Referral Hospital together with the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD), are working together in an awareness campaign on the theme “Diabetes and your Vision” to try and combat diabetic blindness.
Some activities to mark this years’ World Sight Day includes Diabetic screening at the Honiara City Council clinics which started since the 5th of Oct – the 16th Oct, Radio Spots through PAOA Fm and Diabetic retinopathy eye screening at the Regional eye Centre from 12th Oct – 16th..
While the Regional Eye Centre at the National Referral Hospital provides diabetic eye screening for early detection of diabetic complications in eyes, Dr Claude encourages patients with diabetes to fully utilize the free service.
By BIRIAU WILSON SAENI