Delegates at the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012 (WOC2012) in Abu Dhabi during February heard that individuals with diabetes that has not been diagnosed and treated are 25 times more likely to lose
Dr. Manal Taryam, Vice-President of the WOC2012 said diabetic patients should undergo retina photography every three months and the images should be examined by retina specialists.
“Early diagnosis means patients can get treatment before the condition progresses, reducing the level of damage to the eye,” said Dr. Taryam.
“The symptoms (of diabetic retinopathy) include blurred vision, shadows across the field of vision and a slow loss of sight. Left untreated, it can lead to full blindness. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults in developed countries.”
The number of diabetes cases has been increasing in the Middle East mainly due to the significant change of lifestyle in the region
The prevention and treatment of diabetes-related blindness and cataracts were key topics at the Congress. 36 sessions were dedicated to the topic of cataracts and nine sessions to diabetic retinopathy. Hands-on training sessions in wet-labs enabled ophthalmologists to perform surgery on artificial eyes.
“The number of diabetes cases has been increasing in the Middle East mainly due to the significant change of lifestyle in the region – particularly an increased intake of sugar and carbohydrates,” said Dr Saleh Almosabi, chair of the Local Scientific Program Coordination Committee WOC 2012.
“However, many people are unaware that both cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are preventable and treatable. The in-depth scientific program at WOC 2012 provides the ideal opportunity for the eye-health community to share the latest updates on the treatment and prevention of these conditions.”
WOC 2012’s scientific programme covered a range of subspecialty and topic areas in ophthalmology and eye health. Over 45 sessions were organised by International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) member societies representing all ICO-affiliated regional and international societies.