Do children with diabetes also face a higher risk of eye diseases? – How To Protect Children With Diabetes From Eye Damage

World Diabetes Day 2022: Managing diabetes can be challenging, but did you know it can also impact one’s retinal health? Studies suggest that 1 in 3 people with diabetes have some degree of Diabetic Retinopathy, with the younger population being increasingly vulnerable to early vision loss. Do children with diabetes also face a higher risk of eye diseases? All you need to know is if your child has diabetes to protect them from eye damage.

Dr N S Muralidhar, President Vitreo Retinal Society of India, says, “Diabetic retinopathy is the major cause of blindness and poor vision in India. But, unfortunately, most do not get detected at the right stage because vision is good until the late stages. Therefore, we must educate the public to regularly check their eyes for diabetic retinopathy every year, and not wait till they face vision problems.”

Dr Raja Narayanan, Gen. Secretary of the Vitreoretinal Society of India, said, “Young population suffering from Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1 diabetes) are vulnerable to diabetic retinopathy, especially if they have diabetes for over ten years. Even people who have Type-2 diabetes risk losing their eyesight due to the onset of diabetes-related retinal diseases. Today, young diabetics must aggressively start controlling their sugar levels and go for retina check-ups once a year, even if they do not have eye symptoms.”

Keep Eye Diseases Away: What You Must Do As A Parent If Your Child Has Diabetes

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  1. Stay ahead with regular check-ups: Regular health check-ups are essential for diabetes management and retinal health. In addition, children must undergo comprehensive eye examinations at least once a year to identify and address eye diseases early, which can save one’s eyesight. In case of some damage, there are multiple therapy options for safe and effective disease management.
  2. Promote healthy habits and lifestyle: Parents must inculcate healthy habits in their children and explain the significance of a disciplined lifestyle. It includes a nutritious diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep. This can keep diabetes in check and prevent vision loss by de-stressing the eyes.
  3. Make yourself aware and talk to your child: Stay mindful of the effects of diabetes and how it can impact eyesight. Knowing the symptoms and ways of managing the disease can be highly beneficial. Children must communicate with their parents and alert them if they experience blurry vision, see spots or flashes, feel pain in the eyes, impaired colour and contrast, or any unexplained symptom. Consult an Ophthalmologist or a Retina specialist immediately in case of any of these symptoms.

Diabetes is treatable, but retinal damage is seldom reversible. So regular check-ups for diabetes and eye health are paramount. Once diagnosed, treatment adherence is key to effectively managing Diabetic Retinopathy. Parents can play an essential role in ensuring their child maintains a healthy lifestyle with practical diabetes work to prevent the onset or progression of eye diseases making their way towards a brighter future! Home

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