In the Philippines, it is reported that one of the major problems includes vision impairment and even blindness.
A 2019 report released by the Department of Health (DOH), states that over 4 million Filipinos live with undiagnosed eye problems which need to be addressed. While common concerns such as errors of refraction and presbyopia may be corrected with the assistance of eyeglasses, other more pressing states like cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy may result in loss of vision if not addressed immediately.
Dr. Jeffrey Naz Racoma, opthalmologist at Medicard Eye Clinic, observes that eye health is somewhat overlooked in the country. His fellow opthalmologiest and retina specialist Dr, Joel Perez also shared that a lot of eye diseases may be asymptomatic at the start and are not diagnosed if patients don’t have regular eye check-ups.
Usually, most patients are seen only when the need arises, but it would be much better if they will be educated and have preventive eye healthcare.
Another factor is the issue of accessibility to opthalmologists, even eye clinics. Some even have to travel to other places, other cities or neighboring towns or even provinces just to have basic eye consultation. These results to delay in seeking consultation until their condition is advanced, or worse, irremediable.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to remote work and virtual learning set-ups, the use if gadgets such as laptops and mobile phones dramatically increased, leading to higher concern for eye stress among Filipinos.
For those that spend long hours staring at their gadgets’ screens, the opthamlmologists recommend the 20-20-20 rule: “For every 20 minutes of near work while using computers, laptops, or any other gadgets, stop and look away 20 feet for at least 20 seconds. This is a good way to help decrease eye strain.
Maintaining proper eye hygiene, eating a balanced diet and resting and lubricating your eyes as often as possible are necessary as well as in caring for one’s eyesight and keeping good eye health. It is also an advantage to minimize exposures that can strain your eyes such as sunlight, smoking and prolonged gadget use.
Health maintenance organization MediCard Philippines has made it more convenient for those in the metro when it comes to keeeping their eye health in check. MediCard Eye Clinic, located at the MediCard Lifestyle Center in Makati can now offer a much more comprehensive eye consultation with board-certified eye specialists.
The very first HMO-based clinic is equipped with all state-of-the-art instruments to allow for a comprehensive opthalmologic examination. With machines such as Optical Coherence Tomography for the retina and optic nerve, the Humphrey Visual Field Test analyzer, and a fundus camera which captures images of the eye, doctors are able to promptly diagnose diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, retinal detachments, optic neuropathies and glaucoma.
With a one-stop shop for eye concerns such as the MediCard Eye Clinic, one is afforded the foresight to manage his/her eye health and offered early preventive healthcare.
With additional report: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Din M. Villafuerte