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Author Archive for: ‘Ian McLeish’
A recent Canadian study has reported that people prescribed Statins- drugs used to reduce cholesterol, have a 50% increase in the likelihood of developing age related cataract. The report also found that Type II (mature onset) Diabetics (who already have an increased risk) are at an even greater risk.
Because raised cholesterol does not co-exist well with Diabetes, many (perhaps most) Diabetics are on cholesterol lowering medicines.
The increase in cataract has been explained by the crystalline lens membrane’s need for a high cholesterol level to ensure proper cell development and therefore normal clarity.
This was a large study (about 6400 people), so the results are pretty clear, but commentators would agree that the impact of a cataract (which is fixable) on as person’s quality of life is much less, compared to a stroke or a heart attack, and many people in this age group would have likely have developed cataract anyway.
The full article can be seen here (you may be required to register and login).
Apologies in advance- we are having a couple of modifications made in our premises in Bailieborough. This will unavoidably create some noise and dust, but hopefully the alterations should be completed within a few days.
Once again our apologies.
Below are some of the surprising findings from Bausch + Lomb’s Barometer for Global Eye Health.
A vast majority of people surveyed think they are knowledgeable about eye health issues and proper eye care, but their actions suggest otherwise.
According to those surveyed, vision loss would have a severe negative impact on their quality of life compared to health behaviors/conditions they tended to monitor more closely or participate in more regularly.
If forced to choose, survey participants would give up just about anything to preserve their vision, showing it is truly their most valuable sense.
Many consumers don’t know that their eyes can be indicators of other health elements or issues.
Seven out of ten report that they are knowledgeable about the topic, but only four in ten have had an eye exam in the last 12 months.
Additionally, a sizeable portion of participants admit to falling for common eye health myths / misperceptions, such as “I don’t need an eye test unless there is a problem” (44%), and “If I can see, then my eyes must be healthy” (42%).
60% out of reported that vision loss would have a severe negative impact on their quality of life, compared to 21% who say the same for high blood pressure, 19% for high cholesterol, 23% for poor dental health.
Even though loss of vision poses a greater threat to their quality of life, respondents were actually much more likely to have checked their blood pressure (83%) or gotten a physical (71%), in the last one to two years than they were to get their eyes checked (65%).
An overwhelming number of participants indicated that they would rather lose their sense of taste (79%), hearing (78%), a limb (68%), or even 10 years of their life (67%) than lose their eyesight.
During regular exams, eye care professionals can identify signs of medical conditions that could become serious such as high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid disease – years before they are evident in other parts of the body.
Globally, a significant number are unaware that the eyes provide a window into their overall health. In fact, nearly 4 in 10 admit to mistakenly believing that the only reason to visit an eyecare practitioner is for vision correction.
The press release is available here.
According to research, over three quarters (75 per cent) of people with diabetes in Ireland have not heard of the condition diabetic macular oedema (DMe also known as DMO, because Americans spell Oedema as Edema). DMe is the most common form of diabetic retinopathy DR, which is the biggest cause of blindness in working-age Irish adults.
According to the National Council for the Blind in Ireland, NCBI and Diabetes Action, DR causes, on average, one person with diabetes to go blind each week in Ireland.Research conducted amongst members of Diabetes Ireland showed that risk to eye sight is clearly the health complication that people with diabetes are most concerned about 42 per cent, followed by heart conditions 26 per cent and kidney damage 26 per cent.
Despite this concern, however, over a quarter of people with diabetes are not getting their recommended annual full eye examination. A number of patient organisations have come together to launch a new campaign to highlight the eyesight risks associated with diabetes, the importance of eye screening and the treatments that are available should anyone with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes Ireland, Association of Optometrists Ireland, the Irish College of Ophthalmologists, and Fighting Blindness, with the support of Novartis, hosted a public information evening entitled ‘VisualEYES the Risks: Managing your diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, Thursday May 31 at the O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel, Dublin.
Mr Kieran O’Leary, CEO of Diabetes Ireland, said: “The number of people with diabetes in Ireland is growing rapidly and at present there are an estimated 210,000 people with the condition and approximately 30,000 of these undiagnosed. In some cases diabetes can lead to vision impairment and even vision loss. The most effective way to prevent vision loss as a result of diabetes is to control your diabetes properly. This includes being sure to attend all your healthcare appointments and to have a full eye examination on an annual basis.”
According to Mr Mark Cahill, consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin: “The main issue with diabetic retinopathy is that in the early stages, there are no symptoms of the condition and there is no pain experienced. This means that anyone with diabetes should make sure to have a full eye exam, on an annual basis, so that any signs of diabetic retinopathy can be detected as early as possible. By far the most common form of diabetic retinopathy which may damage your vision is DMO. This accounts for eight out of ten cases of diabetic retinopathy. There are very effective treatments available for diabetic Retinopathy, including DMO, in the form of injections and laser. These treatments can slow progression and even restore lost vision; however, early diagnosis is crucial to maximise their effectiveness.”
Ms Loretto Callaghan, Managing Director of Novartis Ireland, said: “In addition to supporting clinical trials in ophthalmology in Ireland, Novartis is delighted to support this campaign to help raise awareness of sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and DMO, and to help patients in Ireland get access to innovative treatments for their condition.” For more information visit www.diabetes.ie