its creation in 1991, World Diabetes Day is held annually on November 14th
by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization.The theme this year was "Eyes on Diabetes" and the focus was eye health.
While diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are dire conditions, they
do not receive appropriate attention from diabetics or from the physicians who
According to a Medscape report, a consortium of international organizations
banded together to study the impact of diabetes and eye health. As part of this
effort, an international survey of both diabetes patients and physicians who
treat them was performed.The
results from the survey revealed that vision issues related to the disease did
not receive the level of importance warranted in terms of vision exams and
preventative care for vision issues.
Furthermore, the survey demonstrated that patients were largely unaware of their
own vision impairment issues resulting from their diabetes.
79 percent of the patient respondents
were aware their vision loss had directly affected important life activities
such as driving, working and performing basic household tasks associated with
daily living. Beyond that, 20% of the respondents who had diabetic retinopathy
or diabetic macular edema reported that these conditions made the daily
management of their diabetes much more challenging.
physician perspective, the survey reported that globally, 50% of medical
professionals responding lacked sufficient access to guidance on diabetic
retinopathy. This breakdown in collaboration likely ensures that patients with
this condition are not receiving the proper medical direction from their
practitioners in understanding and managing the condition.
Medscape report also pointed out that since 1980, diabetes in the world has
quadrupled to an estimated 415 million people. That is 1 out of every 11 adults.Dealing with this disease is further complicated by the fact that
approximately 75 percent of the world's diabetic population live in low to
middle income countries.
report, as well as the supporting international organizations responsible for
the research, strongly advises governments around the world to prioritize eye
health as the global health spend to treat diabetes and manage its complications
will eclipse $673 billion USD in 2016.