the retina is a layer of tissue behind you eye At the center of this nerve tissue is the macula, which senses light and sends images to your brain, which provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving, and seeing fine details. A dysfunctional retina is not able to send clear signals to your brain which can result in vision loss or impairment, so it is important to take important measures to protect the retina. Health,
Progressive retinal diseases can affect someone at a young age and due to lack of awareness, these diseases are flagged off only when individuals start showing severe symptoms. Progressive diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) can cause significant vision loss or impairment if not managed correctly and at the right time, whereas AMD affects central vision and More common in the elderly. DR causes permanent blindness or vision loss in diabetics by damaging the blood vessels of the retina.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shobhit Chawla, Medical Director and Chief Vitreoretinal Consultant at Prakash Eye Center in Lucknow shared, “Eye diseases are common and unfortunately go unnoticed for a long period of time, regarding its effects. Due to lack of awareness. With India being the diabetes capital, around 30% of the population suffers from diabetic retinopathy, of whom ~10-12% have a vision-threatening condition such as macular edema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, it is important to have a widely dilated eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to detect eye diseases at an early stage to prevent vision loss. An annual, regular eye check-up is essential, especially for people with diabetes and the elderly population to provide prompt care and prevent vision loss.”
self preventive measures
A healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems. According to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) – foods with zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene have the potential to reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by up to 25%. Additionally, in today’s time it is important to protect eyes from computer-related eye strain by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
If this condition is treated early, modern treatments can reduce the risk of blindness in proliferative retinopathy and diabetic macular disease by about 98 percent. Early detection and treatment are important to postpone or avoid progressive retinal diseases.
Dr Mahipal Sachdev, Professor in Ophthalmology, Senior Consultant, Chairman and Medical Director, suggested, “When it comes to retinal health, it is important to incorporate preventive measures from the very beginning. People over the age of 50 should have regular dilated eye exams. Anyone can see the Amsler grid – a pattern of straight lines that is like a checkerboard to check your vision. If the lines look wavy to you or some of them are missing, it could be a sign of macular degeneration. Risk factors associated with ARMD are increasing age, genetic factors, smoking. In case of diabetic retinopathy, blood glucose and blood pressure levels should be strictly controlled as it prevents the progression of the disease. In more advanced cases, treatment is recommended to prevent damage to diabetic retinopathy, prevent vision loss, and potentially restore vision.”
know your genes
According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, ~2 million people worldwide suffer from retinal diseases related to genes, which are either inherited or acquired. Genetic predisposition affects approximately 30–40% of the likelihood for both age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Dr Chaitra Jayadeva, Head of Vitro-Retinal Services at Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute in Bangalore, said, “DR and AMD have a hereditary predisposition; it depends on one’s race, geographic location and lifestyle. There are ~250 different genes known to cause. A screening test or examination is initially needed to determine whether the genetic condition runs in the family. If predisposing factors are identified, early detection and timely Treatment requires regular follow-up.”
Ignoring retinal health can not only lead to serious problems but can also lead to permanent blindness. If you have a family history of eye diseases, make sure you consult an ophthalmologist regularly, and combine this with discipline to continue with the treatment and lead a healthy life.