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Category: Medical News

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai has revealed the top three eye conditions affecting residents across the UAE.

Dr. Ammar Safar, Medical Director and Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospitals UAE, says that environmental conditions and poor dietary habits mean that people in the UAE most commonly suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, cataract, and diabetic eye changes.

“Dry eyes are very common in the UAE, mainly due to the weather conditions and the extended reliance on air conditioning, especially during the summer time. As well as this, people who have jobs that require constant reading from computer screens tend to suffer from this condition,” says Dr. Safar.

Safar states that Dry Eye Syndrome affects all age groups and with the widespread use of electronic equipment such as iPhones and iPads by younger individuals, it is also seen in much younger people than before.  Symptoms to look out for include burning, red eyes and itching.

“To prevent dry eyes, one should be mindful of not being in direct exposure of a fan or air conditioning outlet, manage screen time and avoid long hours in front of any screen without a break,” he adds.

The second most common eye condition, cataract, is defined as clouding of the natural lens of the eye, which results in foggy vision. Symptoms to look out for include cloudy vision, blurring, scattered lights and needing more light to read. Safar says: “Cataract cannot be corrected with glasses. Risk factors include age, with people over 60 at a higher risk of developing cataract. However, it is seen in younger patients too. Smoking, UV rays from sun exposure, a poor diet, trauma and certain medications can also contribute.”

Recent research revealed that almost one fifth (17.3%) of the UAE population between the ages of 20 – 79 suffer from type 2 diabetes. Safar says if the condition remains uncontrolled, it can affect the eye in a very negative way. Symptoms of diabetic eye disease include blurry vision, difficulty to focus, black spots and total loss of vision. 

Sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets are all risk factors – the number of people with diabetes in the UAE is expected to double to 2.2 million by 2040.

“All age groups can be affected by diabetes but usually for the eye to be affected, diabetes has to be present for around 10 years and therefore we see the effects of diabetes in the eye around the age of 50. The best way to control this problem is to make sure that the blood sugar levels are under very good control over the years and to check your eyes regularly by a qualified eye doctor. This has been proven in multiple large studies,” says Safar.

 

Source: Seven Media