DIABETIC RETINOPATHY & RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY, A VISUAL JOURNEY
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, and if left untreated, can lead to irreversible blindness. Many people with diabetes are not aware they have the condition, and by the time their vision deteriorates it is often too late for treatment. Regular screening, and early treatment, as well as careful health management is important to prevent unnecessary vision loss. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF):
Approximately 425 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes in 2017; and by the year 2045, this number is expected to increase to 629 million.
Another 325 million people in 2017 were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries throughout the world.
The greatest number of people with diabetes in 2017 were between 40 and 59 years of age.
1 in 2 (212 million) people with diabetes are unaware they have the disease.
Because of these facts, diabetic retinopathy has a possibility to become a major worldwide health crisis.
Retinopathy of prematurity, caused by damage to the retina, can lead to total and irreversible blindness in premature babies. It affects preterm infants whose retinal blood vessels are not fully developed at birth. An affected child may never see light.
The Govt of India’s( PHFI) & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Initiatives are increasing awareness of both diseases across India and providing vital screening and laser treatment. The Initiatives are training doctors and nurses on how to provide high quality care in order to reduce the risk of these complications of preterm birth and diabetes. Patients and their carers are also being counselled to help manage these diseases. This is preventing more premature babies and people with diabetes from needlessly becoming blind.
The photographs below are a result of 3 months of effort in photographing different district hospitals across 5 states in India.