Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai supports Dubai Healthcare City’s ‘World Diabetes Day campaign’, a public health screening event offering more than 10 tests for children and adults

Vision experts will provide complimentary consultations to explain some of the most common and serious complications of diabetes

12 November 2014 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates): To mark World Diabetes Day 2014, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai will support Dubai Healthcare City’s public health screening campaign aimed to educate the community about diabetes through consultations and health checks.

The event, organized by DHCC, the world’s largest healthcare free zone, will take place on Thursday, November 13, 4pm-8pm, at The Executive Towers, Business Bay, Dubai. A team from the hospital will provide residents seeking consultations with medical history review, intra-ocular pressure tests, visual acuity checks, and retinal imaging. The vision tests will use state-of-the-art technology.

Retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, are some of the most common complications caused by diabetes and can lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated. To help the UAE’s large population of people with diabetes manage the disease, Moorfields has established a specialist team of three retinal consultant surgeons and ophthalmologists in Dubai focusing on medical retinal diseases, such as diabetes. Dr. Avinash Gurbaxani, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, comments: “Vision-related problems are some of the most common and serious complications of diabetes. Of course, the single most effective treatment for diabetic eye disease is prevention – good control of diabetes and any associated high blood pressure can delay or avoid significant eye problems. Prevention of diabetic eye disease starts with regular eye examinations which can so often provide an indicator of the diabetes or blood pressure control. Regular screening should begin from an early age, regardless of whether there are vision symptoms or not.”

Diabetic retinopathy
Every cell in the eye (and, indeed, the body) is affected by the biochemical changes of diabetes. In practice, however, retinopathy is a disease of blood vessels – sometimes they wither away, sometimes they leak fluids when they shouldn’t and sometimes they grow where they do not belong. The blood vessels in the retina are uniquely prone to going wrong in this way, although the same changes can be found elsewhere in the body.

Treating diabetic retinopathy
According to Dr Edoardo Zinicola, Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Medical Retina Specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, once retinopathy is present, direct eye treatment may be needed and the type of treatment depends on the problem. “There is no effective treatment for the parts of the retina where blood vessels have disappeared,” he comments. “Laser photocoagulation remains the first line of treatment for both new and leaking vessels. Injections of steroids and medicines known as VEGF blocking agents also have a role and where the eye disease is advanced then surgery can help.”

Prevention tips for patients at risk of diabetic retinopathy

  • Control the diabetes as well as you can
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Do not smoke
  • Get regular eye checks
  • Take charge of your own health

The Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai specialist team of retinal consultant surgeons and ophthalmologists comprises: Dr Avinash Gurbaxani; Dr Edoardo Zinicola; Dr Jana Sheqem.

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