Background: Increased awareness and knowledge about the sight-threatening complications of diabetes mellitus are keys to better understanding of the importance of routine eye examinations for the early detection and treatment of ocular complications in diabetics.
Aim: To assess the awareness and knowledge level of diabetes patients on the effect of diabetes on their eyes.
Setting and Design: A cross-sectional study in a tertiary Hospital.
Material and Methods: Consenting patients aged 20 years and above were sampled conveniently at the center. Data was collected with a structured questionnaire assessing patients’ demographic background, awareness and knowledge of the effect of diabetes on the eye.
Statistical Methods: Multiple logistic regressions were used to examine demographic characteristics of participants associated with the level of awareness and knowledge about the ocular effects of diabetes.
Results : A total of 162 (males-69; females-93) participants were recruited for the study with most (76.60 %) participants aged 40 years and above. 80.20 % were aware that uncontrolled diabetes can affect the eye whiles 48.80 % of participants did not know examples of specific eye conditions with diabetes.
Income status and number of years ago diagnosed diabetes were possible predictors of awareness, whiles age predicted knowledge about the ocular effects of uncontrolled diabetes.
Conclusion: The low level of knowledge of specific ocular conditions associated with diabetes recorded signifies the need for further health education for patients on ocular complications with much stress on specific ocular conditions associated with diabetes for better knowledge and better management of diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus, diabetic retinopathy, awareness, knowledge, ocular complications and diabetes management.