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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 404-409

Perception of ocular complications among patients with diabetes mellitus attending tertiary hospitals in Enugu, Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ifeoma N Asimadu
Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.ijmh_44_22

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Background: Diabetes mellitus can lead to sight and life-threatening complications. It affects people in both developed and developing countries. Many diabetics present to the eye clinics with undetected advanced eye complications. Aim: The study aimed at evaluating the perception of the ocular complications of diabetes and how it influences the attitude and practice of the diabetics attending the eye clinics. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two tertiary hospitals in Enugu over a 3-month period. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to assess their perception, and hence their attitude and practice toward diabetic eye complications after obtaining their informed consents. Results: A total of 884 diabetics participated. There were 337 (38.1%) males and 547 (61.9%) females. A majority, 523 (59.2%), were in the age range of 51–70 years. Only 40.7% knew that diabetes affects the eyes; 60.2% did not know that good blood sugar control will help prevent eye complications; 41.1% knew they needed to see the eye specialist from time to time but not necessarily for routine check-up. Only 9.1% saw the eye specialists routinely; the remaining 90.9% never went for routine eye check as only 40.72 knew it affects the eyes. Conclusion: There was poor perception of the disease and its complications, which led to poor practice such as no regular, periodic eye examinations. There is a dire need for education of the diabetics, building of multidisciplinary effective strategies and policies with the view to decreasing the burden of the disease especially in the developing countries.

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