Doctors stress importance of eye screening – Manila Bulletin

(EYES/ UNSPLASH)

Doctors have stressed the importance of eye screening as it can help identify possible eye problems early.

About two million Filipinos in 2018 had visual impairment, according to the Philippine Eye Disease Study by the Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI).

In the said study, more than one million Filipinos suffered from cataracts, the leading cause of visual impairment in the Philippines.

That’s why it’s important for everyone to be screened for eye problems, said Dr. Jubaida Aquino, a vitreoretinal specialist at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and East Avenue Medical Center.

“What is more worrying is that of the people covered in the 2018 eye study, many who were not visually impaired suffered from glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy – conditions that can lead to blindness. “, said Aquino.

“That’s why it’s so important to have early visual screening and follow-up treatment,” Aquino said.

Meanwhile, the government has been urged to provide “adequate funding” for the national policy on the Prevention of Blindness Program (PBP).

The PBB is a Department of Health’s “comprehensive eye and vision programme” which is “designed to reduce the burden of avoidable visual impairment by ensuring equitable access to quality eye care services”.

“We can all come together to help people living with visual impairment or vision problems by ensuring that the PBP has adequate funding, especially for outpatient services, and implemented consistently nationally. and in the various local government units,” said Dr Diana. Edralin, CEO of Roche Philippines and President of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines.

Edralin also said it is important to “treat eye disease at an earlier stage or at least prevent the disease from progressing to a point where it becomes a burden on patients and their families.”

“Early detection, arrest of progression or even reversal of disease would be ideal,” she said.

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