November 30, 2023

Take charge of your diabetes; protect your eyes – DOH

By Glen S Ramos

Diabetic residents of Balaoan, La Union undergoes diabetic retinopathy screening to detect possible symptoms caused by diabetes during the two-day mobile screening conducted by the Department of Health – Ilocos Region in partnership with the Ilocos Training and Regional and Medical Center – Opthalmology Department on April 26-27, 2023.

The Department of Health – Ilocos Region is taking really good care of diabetes patients in the province of La Union as it conducted its 9th “Mobile Diabetic Retinopathy Screening for Diabetic Patients” in the town of Balaoan in partnership with the Ilocos Training and Regional and Medical Center (ITRMC).

“If we have diabetes, we have to take regular eye exams and take control of our health by taking our medicine religiously and taking care of our eyes by practicing a healthy lifestyle, performing regular exercise and avoiding unhealthy habits,” Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated.

“Diabetes is the main cause of blindness in patients aged 20 to 74 and it is a major cause of blindness for those aged 75 or older. At kadalasan ang mga pasyenteng may diabetes ay syang nagkakaroon ng eye problems sanhi ng kanilang sakit.”

“We are continuing this eye screening activity and will be coordinating with more local government units to ensure that eye care services will be provided to their constituents. And as of now, we have already started providing eye operations for those who are listed for surgical treatment at the ITRMC,” she added.

The mobile eye screening activity helps to detect retinopathy, which causes small blood vessels in the retina (at the back of the eye) to get weak and possibly leak blood; cataracts, which causes a “clouding” of the lens of the eye and makes vision blurry and glaucoma, which causes pressure in the eye.

Regional Program Manager of Essential Non-Communicable Disease Francisco de Vera Jr. said that not many people with diabetes look forward to their eye screenings. “Ang iba ay natatakot na malaman na sila ay maooperahan at ang iniisip nila agad ay ang gagastusin sa pagpapagamot.”

“That is why we have initiated this activity together with the ophthalmologists of ITRMC to bring the services to their communities and provide them the much-needed eye care they need including maintenance medicines for their diabetes. And these are all given for free.”

“Para sa mga naka-schedule for operation at walang pamasahe to and from the hospital, we can ask for support naman from their LGU for transportation. And they are more than willing to provide for their constituents,” De Vera emphasized.