Dr Zailani Isa, the Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist, National Hospital, Abuja, has warned that diabetes could lead to blindness if not properly managed.
He gave the warning in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Isa said diabetes that is not managed well can cause complications, adding that if it is controlled well, it is unlikely to develop any complication.
He said failure of treatment of diabetes, predispose the affected to risk of developing eye changes which later leads to blindness, if not managed early.
Isa said diabetes could affect the eye when there is poor sugar control it can lead to changes in the lens.
“When lens in the eyes swells, it stops light from getting into the eyes and because opacity light does not go in, it can stop the diabetic patients from seeing until surgery is done.
“Retina is also a part of the eye that receives all the light that gets into the eyes, process it through the optic nerve and send the message to the brain.”
Isa said there is an area in the brain that is responsible for sight in the eye.
“If the blood vessels undergo some changes because of poor control, they link their context and bleed which leads to abnormalities within them; also the linkage of the blood vessels leads to the changes in the retina by affecting vision.
“It is advisable for diabetes patients to take their medication properly, go for regular check up and treatment, exercise and stick to dietary advice.
“Those with family history of diabetes should avoid marrying a partner with same problem to limit genetic component because hereditary plays a role in diabetes organs.
“If accidentally both parents are diabetic measures like weight reduction, such people should exercise regularly and avoid lifestyle and foods that has potential to push diabetes out,’’ said the expert.