World Diabetes Day is a day set aside globally to create awareness about Diabetes and its complications, which include the eye.
According to the Ghana Health Service, there are over 270,000 diabetics living in Ghana with 27,000 suffering from sight-threatening complications.
Without proper awareness creation, many of these patients would eventually become irreversibly blind.
To create awareness and as part of our corporate social responsibilities, St. Thomas Eye Hospital is offering free diabetic eye screening at both branches (Mataheko and Osu).
The screening is completely free. It is not dependent on affordability because blinding complications from Diabetes include early cataract formation and damage to the retina.
It is worth noting that, while cataract complications are easy to manage, the same cannot be said about the retinal damage caused by uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus.
Retina complications include leakage of fluid and bleed into the macular region of the retina where fine vision is processed.
Retina gets starved of oxygen and nutrients due to poor blood flow in the damaged vessels supplying the retina.
Eventually, the eye tries to form new vessels and these are fragile causing them to bleed into the retina and into the vitreous gel that fills the eye. If untreated, it eventually progresses into retinal detachment.
All these can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment.
Various treatment options include retinal laser treatments, intravitreal injections of drugs that prevent and shrink these new fragile vessels and surgery to remove the blood-filled vitreous gel.