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Specsavers Spain Illuminates the Hidden Danger of Diabetes on Eye Health

Every year on 14 November, World Diabetes Day is observed with the aim of sustaining awareness about one of the rapidly expanding health conditions globally.
November 14, 2023
Diabetes and your eyes: Specsavers in Spain shines a light on the silent threat

On Tuesday, 14 November 2023, Specsavers Ópticas, a leading optical retail chain in Spain, is encouraging individuals to have their eyes examined in recognition of World Diabetes Day. The theme for this year’s event is “know your risk, know your response”. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) reports that one in three individuals with diabetes will experience some form of eye health issue.

Nerea Galdos-Little from Specsavers Ópticas in Marbella has provided answers to some crucial questions on the subject.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is an annual event held on 14 November and is organized by the International Diabetes Federation. It aims to raise awareness about diabetes and its related issues, engaging millions of people globally.

In Spain, the prevalence of diabetes is the second highest in Europe, with 14.8% of adults, or over five million people, living with the condition. Almost a third (30.3%) of these individuals are undiagnosed and are at risk of developing serious eye health complications, including vision loss.

Diabetes can lead to complications affecting the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, teeth, and gums. One in three individuals with diabetes will experience some form of vision loss in their lifetime. Kidney failure is 10 times more common in people with diabetes, and every 30 seconds, a lower limb is amputated due to diabetes somewhere in the world.

Diabetes can impact the small blood vessels and capillaries of the body if not properly managed. This can lead to diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of preventable blindness in working-age adults. Other potential eye-related complications include cataracts and retinal detachments. If left untreated, these severe changes can result in blindness.

To prevent eye damage from diabetes, it is crucial to control blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Regular screenings and eye tests are also important to monitor any changes or problems.

Digital Retinal Photography (DRP) is a technology that can help optometrists assess health by taking a picture of the back of the eye. This can help identify changes associated with certain eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy. If necessary, the optician can refer patients for further medical examination to their hospital or general practitioner.

If you have any concerns about your vision or eye health, it is recommended to book an appointment with your optician as soon as possible. They can ensure everything is fine or, if necessary, refer you to your GP or a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

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