Specsavers Ópticas is backing a global campaign to highlight the risk of diabetes and its links to vision loss and other conditions.

Ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November, the Specsavers Ópticas stores are encouraging customers to learn if they are at risk of type two diabetes through a free online assessment by the International Diabetes Federation. They are also highlighting the importance of eye tests in helping to detect the condition.

According to the federation, out of the 425 million adults suffering from diabetes worldwide, one in three have diabetic retinopathy and one in 10 will develop a vision-threatening form of the disease. As there are 3.5 million people with diabetes in Spain1, 350,000 people could be at risk of losing their vision due to diabetes. However, by catching it early and managing it well, you can largely prevent vision loss from diabetes.

Throughout November, the Specsavers Ópticas stores will be answering questions about diabetes and offering expert advice.

Lisa James from Specsavers Ópticas in Torrevieja, Guardamar and La Zenia explains, “Diabetic retinopathy is a condition which affects some diabetics after a number of years, depending on how well their blood sugar levels are controlled. There are two types, 'non-proliferative', which usually causes no symptoms and isn’t sight-threatening, and 'proliferative' retinopathy. With 'proliferative' retinopathy, new blood vessels form in the eye. These vessels are extremely weak and also in the wrong place; as a result, the vessels can break and leak blood. This causes both scar tissue to develop and the fluid in the eye to become cloudy. Occasionally, retinal detachment can occur too.

It is important for diabetics to have their eyes tested every one to two years, because the early stages of retinopathy might not result in any symptoms, but an optometrist can detect any changes so that treatment can be given as soon as the problem arises. Occasionally symptoms may occur before the problem has been detected, such as blurred vision and vision loss, usually in both eyes but sometimes affecting one eye more than the other. If you spot any of these signs, please visit an optometrist for a complete eye examination as soon as possible.”

Specsavers Ópticas are offering free eye tests and eye health information for diabetes sufferers and those at risk of developing it in-store throughout November. Visit www.specsavers.es to find your nearest store and book an eye test.

Visit www.worlddiabetesday.org to do the assessment.

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