Hospitals act on diabetes-related eye conditions

Cai Wenjun
Diabetes is becoming an increasing health issue in China, with the rate of the disease among the elderly at 20 percent.
Cai Wenjun

Diabetes is becoming an increasing health issue in China, with the rate of the disease among the elderly at 20 percent,  doctors revealed on Saturday, World Diabetes Day.

Diabetes-related problems, particularly eye complications, are especially concerning.

A program offering training in diabetic retinopathy, a major eye complication of diabetes, for grassroots medical facilities was launched in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Saturday. 

Grassroots healthcare professionals in 16 cities will receive training in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Over half of diabetes patients in China do not receive regular eyebase checks, and 70 percent of patients have never received regular eye treatment. 

Public awareness of diabetic eye complications is also not high, resulting in the high incidence of blindness, doctors said.

“The training is to improve the capability of grassroots professionals to improve public awareness, enhance the prevention and early detection and treatment of patients with diabetic eye complications to protect their vision and avoid blindness,” said Zhang Han from Chinese Medical Doctor Association’s public health doctor branch.

Also on Saturday, Ai’er Eye Hospital Group announced it will set up diabetic eye treatment clinics in 150 cities to promote the prevention, management, treatment and control of the disease.

There are about 116 million people between 20 and 79 with diabetes in China, ranking No. 1 in the world. 

Diabetic retinopathy is the most prevalent eyebase complication. Among diabetes patients in China, up to 37.5 percent are estimated to suffer diabetic retinopathy, some 48 million patients.  The disease can cause cataracts and glaucoma. 

The longer the duration of diabetes, the higher possibility of diabetic retinopathy and the more serious the condition, doctors said.

Dr Tang Shibo, vice director of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association’s ophthalmology branch and general president of Ai’er Eye Hospital Group, said patients with diabetic retinopathy will suffer permanent blindness in late stage. Blindness due to diabetic retinopathy is the main cause for blindness for people between 20 and 64 years old.

It is important to visit a doctor when suffering eye discomfort or vision deterioration. More than 70 percent of patients do not go to hospital until they have serious eye problems and vision disorder, even blindness.

Early diagnosis and early treatment are important, as diabetic retinopathy can be controlled through medication and surgery.

The diabetic eye complication clinics launched by Ai’er in 150 cities will carry out eyebase screening, diagnosis and treatment and establish a database for each patient for long-term and regular management.

Ai’er Eye Hospital Group also announced a two-year charity program to offer education and screening for 48,000 people at high risk in 16 cities for diabetic eye complication and a database for follow-up management.

Hospitals act on diabetes-related eye conditions
Ti Gong

The program offering training in diabetic retinopathy is launched on Saturday.

Hospitals act on diabetes-related eye conditions
Ti Gong

Ai’er Eye Hospital Group announces it will set up clinics for diabetic eye complications in 150 cities.

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