Diabetes and sight loss link highlighted during awareness week
Worrying statistics reporting that over 50% of diabetics have experienced a sight-related complication associated to their diabetes have been released ahead of Diabetes Week (12–18 June).
The survey, performed by healthcare marketing and communications agency Onyx Health, revealed that despite the known associated risk of sight loss and diabetes, such as retinopathy, 17% of diabetes patients questioned had not had a sight test for more than a year.
When questioned about what action patients would take if their sight worsened, less than 50% said they would present at an opticians. However, this was the most popular response, with GPs and hospital ophthalmologists listed in second and third place.
Interestingly, 47% of respondents said they would be willing to pay for a new and proven treatment for diabetes related sight conditions.
Responding to the survey, eye research charity Fight for Sight’s director of research, Dr Dolores Conroy, confirmed that it is currently investing £1.2m into a number of different projects across the country, which will help to further understanding of the mechanisms underlying the condition and develop new treatments.
Dr Conroy explained: “Diabetes is a growing concern and, with the numbers expected to rise, this unfortunately means more cases of diabetic retinopathy.”
Of those questioned, two in five confirmed that they are currently receiving treatment for diabetic retinopathy, with procedures normally involving laser eye surgery or invasive injections. However, several potential therapies are currently being developed to prevent and treat the complications caused by diabetic retinopathy, including a type of light therapy that aims to reduce leakage of fluid in the central retina.
When asked which treatment patients most prefer, the popular choice for those who answered was light therapy using a sleep mask, such as the Noctura 400 sleep mask (pictured), which uses light technology to prevent or treat retinopathy at any stage of its development.