Diabetes and Your Eyes -Myths & misconceptions
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Diabetes and your Eyes: Myths & Misconceptions

• [myth] I got new glasses and now my vision is alright; that means my eyes are healthy!

This is a common mistake done by patients. Many a times the conditions that affect the eye in a patient with diabetes like proliferative retinopathy, retinal bleeding, retinal detachment, glaucoma all are silent with patient enjoying crystal clear vision until it’s too late.

Ignorance is not bliss! You need to tell your eye specialist (who has special interest in diabetic eye problems) about your diabetes and make sure you undergo a detailed fundus examination at least once a year.


• [myth] You have to worry about retinopathy only if you have difficulty in eyesight

Wrong! That would be too late to do anything to prevent blindness. The moment you are diagnosed to have diabetes, get your eyes checked for any diabetic complications. In the early stages (when damage can be halted by proper treatment) you may not notice any blurring of vison, pain or any symptoms. But diabetes may be silently eating your eyes!

• [myth] I have been just diagnosed to be diabetic, so I need eye checkups only a few years later

Incorrect. In fact in UKPDS study, one of the landmark studies on diabetes showed that up to 35% of patients may already be suffering from diabetes related retinopathy (eye involvement) at diagnosis. Hence I take this opportunity to again stress the need to start eye checkups the moment you are diagnosed with (type-2) diabetes.

• [myth] Diabetic retinopathy is not seen in juvenile diabetics

No! You definitely got it wrong. Because of the longer duration and increased severity of diabetes, retinal damage is more severe in juvenile diabetes patients.

• [myth] Cataract protects from diabetic retinopathy

No! Not at all. In fact it hides the retinal damage. Because of the opaque lens, neither the patient can see, nor can the doctor see the damaged retina behind the lens. This can lead to delay in seeking treatment. Patient may not gain sight even after cataract surgery.

• [myth] Cataract surgery cures diabetic retinopathy

No! Sometimes, if the retinopathy is already severe it can worsen after cataract surgery. In such cases special treatment like LASER therapy may be needed.

• [myth] Insulin treatment causes blindness

False. It is an unwarranted notion about insulin. In fact if used at the right time it can prevent blindness.