Retinal disease to increase blind population upto 15 million by 2020
New Delhi : With a mega share of retinal disease, India's blind population is likely to rise to 15 million by 2020, said a report.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are two major diseases that result in loss of vision. Both of them can be managed effectively if they are diagnosed on time.
To identify them at an early stage it becomes important to understand about its symptoms.
What is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
Loss of vision is a result of damaged retina - a part of eye where final image is formed.
AMD affects the macula of the retina causing damage to the centre vision. AMD is one of the important causes of severe visual loss in the elderly population. It constitutes to 8.7% of blindness in the world.
Diabetic Retinopathy damages blood vessels inside the retina at the back of the eye. It constitutes 4.8% of blindness in the world. Diabetic Retinopathy leads to Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) which is the most common form of DR. It occurs when the damaged blood vessels swell and leak into the macula of the retina causing visibility problem in the normal vision.
Awareness of Retinal Diseases
Dr. Ajay Dudani, Ophthalmologist and Eye and Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Bombay Hospital & CEO of Mumbai Retina Centre told news agency ANI, "The severity of Diabetic Retinopathy is related to the duration of Diabetes Mellitus (DM). A person suffering from DM for a period of 10 years has 50% risk of getting diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy whereas if the duration increases to 20 years the rate ratchets up to 90%. Similarly, poor diabetes control leads to rapid progression of DR."
Dr. Raja Narayanan, Secretary of VRSI & Head of Clinical Research, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, told news agency ANI, "Retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema are progressive conditions that can be managed effectively if diagnosed in a timely manner. Therefore, it is vital to seek expert advice as soon as one experiences the symptoms. Timely diagnosis can help slow the disease progression."
Common signs and symptoms
The symptoms of retinal diseases may vary depending on the type of retinal disorder. However, most of the symptoms overlap each other or are common in various diseases. For example:
• blurred or fuzzy or distorted vision
• impaired colour vision
• decreased contrast or colour sensitivity
• experiencing dark spots in vision
• straight lines that appear wavy or crooked
• difficulty seeing at a distance
• vision loss