EXPERTS are reminding people of the importance of regular eye tests to support World Diabetes Day (14 November).
The advice comes from Specsavers Ópticas Benidorm as it reassures the public that its doors remain open, despite the latest lockdown measures, after being classified as an essential healthcare provider. This means customers can continue to travel to stores for appointments, in line with official government guidelines.
Marking World Diabetes Day, Jorge Martínez de Lizarduy Araico explains that many people with diabetes do not get any symptoms which means it can take up to 10 years before they are diagnosed . However, if it is left untreated it can cause damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, and feet.
Jorge explains: ‘10.5% of adults in Spain are living with diabetes and in Europe over 15 million people are living with type 2 diabetes without being aware of the condition . These people are at risk of developing serious eye health complications and even sight loss.
‘Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health conditions today – fuelled by record levels of obesity, excessive sugar consumption and sedentary lifestyles. If we continue to ignore the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a result, we can only expect to see the number of cases escalate.’
Around 1 in 3 people with diabetes develop some form of eye health complication, according to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) . Almost all vision impairment and sight loss from diabetic eye disease can be prevented through effective diabetes management, early detection of eye problems through regular eye tests and timely treatment.
A complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy which can occur when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the back of the eye. If left untreated it can cause blindness.
Jorge adds: ‘Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in working age adults, even in developed countries, so it’s hugely important that diabetes is detected early and monitored correctly to minimise the risk of avoidable sight loss.
‘At Specsavers, we offer digital retinal photography free of charge as part of a standard eye test for customers aged over 40. This takes a detailed picture of the back of your eye allowing the blood vessels to be monitored more closely – helping to detect any signs of diabetes that might be present.’
To make sure customers can enjoy a safe visit to the store, Specsavers Ópticas Benidorm have introduced a series of hygiene and personal protection measures in store. This includes restrictions on the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with government and industry guidelines. In addition, all testing equipment and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after handling, there are hand sanitiser stations in store, and social distancing rules are followed.
There are Specsavers Ópticas stores in Javea, Calpe Benidorm, Torrevieja, Guardamar and La Zenia on the Costa Blanca. To find out more or book your next appointment visit www.specsavers.es