Introduction: Diabetic retinopathy is an important microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus & to prevent the vision loss resulting from it, regular screening & timely diagnosis are very important. This study attempts to measure the level of awareness about eye complications of diabetes among patients with type II diabetes mellitus & their knowledge about its effect on vision and the available treatment options.
Methods: A cross-sectional hospital based study was carried over a period of 6 months at ophthalmology OPD of a medical college hospital. The data collected was tabulated and is presented here as descriptive statistics, frequencies and ratios.
Results and Discussion: Among 100 patients included in this study only 36 patients were aware of eye involvement in Diabetes mellitus. Only 17 patients knew the need for eye checkup even when sugar levels are controlled. 68 patients were getting their eyes tested for the first time. The commonest cause for not getting regular eye checkups, other than lack of awareness, was difficulty in reaching the hospital & time constraints.
Conclusion: In spite of increase in incidence of DM in India, the awareness about eye complications & retinopathy remains poor among the affected patients. There is a clear cut difference in perception, between the general diabetic care & eye care, among these patients. Physicians play an important role in referring the patients for eye checkup.
Awareness, Complications, Diabetic retinopathy, Eye screening.