Drivers with diabetic retinopathy pose accident risk | Sunday Observer

Drivers with diabetic retinopathy pose accident risk

Consultant Physician, National Eye Hospital Dr. Waruna Gunathilleke warned that the number of public transport drivers including drivers of school vans with low visual field effects driving at night were posing an increasing threat to public safety. “In the latest studies conducted by the National Eye Hospital, we noted that drivers, especially, with diabetic retinopathy found it difficult to drive at night. This is a public danger as the number of road accidents are bound to accelerate.

Mass diabetic retinopathy screening is the need of the hour in this current context. Rather than focus on traditional subjects like non communicable diseases, we must focus on this issue which is a national danger to all”, he told the Sunday Observer.

He said, an open lecture on eye health will be held at the National Eye Hospital Auditorium for health care workers of the National Health Services, with special attention on Diabetes Retinopathy, on November 17 at 11 a.m.

“Diabetic retinopathyhappens when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina. This damage causes vision loss. However, when the diabetes is controlled, progression could be slowed down. Unfortunately, for many diabetic persons, the retinal damage can increase and bleeding into the eye can occur. Cataract formation, eye ball pressure, glaucoma ultimately leading to total blindness could develop after several years. Diabetic patients should screen their eyes regularly to foresee complications and avoid them,” he noted.

“All high risk persons, especially, drivers of buses and other vehicles must regularly check themselves for this condition as it affects their night visuals and could result in avoidable accidents on the roads,” he emphasised.