World Diabetes Day, Saturday 14 November, 2020
SCREEN FOR VISION – SCREEN FOR LIFE
The eye is said to be the window to the soul. Those of us fortunate enough to see appreciate how important our eyes are every day as we see the world around us.
Covid-19 has made us aware of the effect of a pandemic. We live in the midst of a world-wide diabetic epidemic. This epidemic continues to cause a great deal of suffering.
Diabetes affects the whole body. It causes damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, peripheral circulation and the eyes. This disease may be severe enough to result in end organ failure such as a heart attack or stroke. Severe eye disease may cause blindness. The increase in the number of South Africans living with diabetes has resulted in diabetes becoming a leading cause of blindness in South Africa.
Fortunately there is hope!
Retinal screening can detect microvasculopathy which enables the detection of early disease. This is of obvious importance to prevent blindness, but did you know that it provides important information about your risk of a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease? Recent developments have meant that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to detect early disease in the eye. The detection of change in the retina means that they are “retinopathy positive”. This can be linked to the risk of developing disease in the rest of the body.
This is really important information! It is the sort of thing that your doctor would like to know about in order to help you reduce your chance of being affected.
The Ophthalmology Society has developed the “Screen for life” program to provide retinal photo screening to enable you to find out if you are retinopathy positive and at risk for more severe disease.
Have your eyes screened for vision- screen for life.