Diabetic eye disease awareness month

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Diabetic eye disease month

November is national diabetes awareness month and diabetic eye disease month which today is one of the most common forms of sight loss. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) affects over one-third of all people with diabetes. DR is the most severe complication in the eye caused by diabetes; it may occur along with the diagnosis of the disease and constitutes 80% of causes of vision loss in this population. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20–74. You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or help stop it getting worse, by keeping your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. This can often be done by making healthy lifestyle choices, although some people will also need to take medication. While treatment can slow or stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy, it’s not a cure. Because diabetes is a lifelong condition, future retinal damage and vision loss are still possible. Even after treatment for diabetic retinopathy, you’ll need regular eye exams. At some point, you might need additional treatment. This makes awareness key and months where social media campaigns are more prevalent such as November can be the difference in saving the sight of those affected. We’ve just finished a huge awareness month which included world sight day and white cane awareness month which highlights vision loss across the spectrum, but having campaigns that highlight specific diseases and conditions are hugely important and make a real difference.

Last year I was honoured to be a part of a global campaign by Roche which is one of the largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the world. The ChangeMakers campaign looked to highlight the personal stories of patients around the globe living with conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Through their stories myself and 2 other incredible visually impaired/blind artist created a piece that saw poetry music and art come together in a very unique way.

Baluji Shrivastav, is an Indian/British musician and instrumentalist who plays a variety of traditional Indian instruments including the sitar, dilruba, surbahar, pakhavaj and tabla.

Rachel Gadsden is a UK-based visual artist and performance artist who is exhibited internationally and who works across the mainstream and disability artsectors.

We combined our creative work to produce something that I will forever be proud of.

Please check out all the videos via this link https://www.roche.com/stories/change-makers-in-ophthalmology

Do you know someone affected by Diabetes?

If so please share this weeks blog with them.