RAWALPINDI- Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults, revealed ophthalmologists at a conference on the prevalence and treatment optimiSation of diabetic macular edema (DME) in Pakistan. Globally, it is expected that approximately 642 million people will have diabetes by 2040.

DME, which is a part of diabetic retinopathy, is an accumulation of fluid in the macula—part of the retina that controls our most detailed vision abilities. It was highlighted during the conference that approximately half of patients with DME will lose two or more lines of vision within two years of diagnosis during the natural progression of the disease.

Two sessions of the conference were organised by the Pharmaceutical division of Bayer Pakistan; one in Rawalpindi and one in Karachi. Approximately 120 ophthalmologists attended these sessions.

Dr Igor Kozak, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfield Eye Hospital Center, UAE, was the keynote speaker at both sessions. Dr Kozak, a renowned specialist in a range of vitreoretinal surgical procedures including pediatric ophthalmic surgery, undertakes advanced surgical procedures and has pioneered some retinal laser techniques.

He presented his findings and recommendations regarding effective treatments for the disease, such as Aflibercept. “Complications from diabetic eye disease range from decreased vision to complete blindness if untreated.

Fortunately, at present we have treatments that not only stop progression of vision loss but actually can gain meaningful vision for our patients,” Dr Kozak emphasized.

Several renowned local ophthalmologists also presented real-world examples of the most effective kinds of treatment available for patients of diabetic retinal disease, and evidence-based recommendations for optimizing treatment in cases of DME.

“Bayer continues to invest in opportunities to educate and empower healthcare professionals with the latest advancements in treatment,” said Dr. Imran Ahmad Khan, MD and CEO Bayer Pakistan, in his closing remarks at the session.

“By developing the knowledge base and awareness of treatment options for diabetic macular edema, we hope to ensure better management and more effective treatment for patients who might otherwise suffer life-altering vision loss. We are very pleased to have Dr Igor Kozak join us to share his experiences and recommendations with our audience,” Dr Imran Ahmad Khan added.