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It's "World Retina Week"!

Diabetes and Blindness

World Retina Week 21/09-27/09/2020 "Diabetes and Blindness"

A person’s eyesight is usually taken for granted, until this gift is suddenly taken away from them.

An estimated 16 500 Namibians will develop severe diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss or blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes.

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease related to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

It can be prevented by making healthier lifestyle ch


The incidence of diabetes and obesity is increasing, with a current estimated 460 million people affected globally.

Diabetes screening, in the form of a finger prick test, can be done by a general practitioner (GP) or pharmacy.

There are two types of diabetes:

• Type 1 diabetes, caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce insulin.

• Type 2 diabetes, where the body cannot adequately respond to the available insulin.

Diabetic screening and testing of the eyes are essential.

As soon as diabetes is diagnosed, every patient should have a baseline eye exam with an ophthalmologist. At diagnosis, the disease may already have been present for a number of years, and severe complications can be present.

Thereafter, at minimum, an annual follow-up eye examination is required. If retinopathy is diagnosed, specific treatments and more regular follow-ups are needed.

The latest technology, including OXIA Artificial Intelligence can be used.

Zeiss’ high-resolution retinal photographs are analyzed via AI software and reviewed by a specialist Ophthalmologist to detect diabetic disease.

This AI technology also identifies Glaucoma and Age-related macular degeneration, conditions where early detection and treatment are critical.

People often aren’t very aware of their eyes and vision, until something goes wrong. Any change in vision, or a sudden onset of pain or discomfort should prompt patients to seek an eye evaluation as soon as possible!

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