Blind World

Diabetic Retinopathy.
70 percent of diabetics with decreased vision have high lipid profile.

May 25, 2004.
Express News Service.


WHEN it comes to loss of vision due to diabetes, Chandigarh, due to the lifestyle of its people, falls in the danger zone.

Around 4,000 diabetic patients come to PGI every year, many of whom with a diminishing vision and with the possibility of going blind in future. Says, Dr Vaishali Gupta, consultant Ophthalmology, PGI, ‘‘20 per cent of the 400 patients we see every week are prone to blindness due to diabetes.’’

However, there is some good news. Till now, low level of lipid was considered good for the heart patients. The latest research work conducted by the department of Ophthalmology and Endocrinology of PGI, shows that it is good even for a diabetic patient prone to blindness.

‘‘Both the departments have worked together to achieve the results. While in most of the hospitals both the departments work independently which is why they cannot arrive at the root of the disease,’’ says Prof Amodh Gupta, HoD Ophthalmology, PGI. According to Prof Gupta, about 70 per cent of the diabetic patients who have decreased vision also have elevated lipid profile. This increased level of lipid gets deposited in the retina and damages it. The loss of vision is to such an extent that you can’t recognise things specifically, though, generally you can do routine things, such as walking, he added.

However, this blindness is preventable. Dr Anil Bhansali, HoD Endocrinology, PGI, says, ‘‘Earlier, we used to tell the patients to control their blood glucose. Now we tell them to lower the lipid level.’’ During the preliminary investigations of the research, it was found that a patient who had high lipid also showed high lipid deposit in his retina. However, after the intervention by the team comprising Dr Amodh Gupta, Dr Vaishali Gupta, Dr Shveta Thapar and Dr Anil Bhansali, the patient showed lot of improvement within a month. The results of this research were published in April issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology -a prestigious eye journal of the world.

‘Control lipid level before laser therapy.’

Many ophthalmologists conduct laser therapy in an uncontrolled state of lipid level, which could be detrimental to the patient. Prof Gupta says, all the ophthalmologists who think laser therapy is the only control should first ask the patient to lower the lipid level.

© 2004: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.

End of article.

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