Glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy have remained to be the most common eye diseases being treated in Qatar, ophthalmology specialists at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Sight Day 2018 celebration on Thursday at Hamad General Hospital’s out-patient lobby, HMC’s ophthalmology resident Dr Abdulaziz Sultan R M al-Kaabi told reporters that these eye impairments are prevalent among people with diabetes and known as leading cause of blindness.
“This is due to (uncontrolled) high sugar levels in the blood and should be treated properly to prevent any progression,” he said, highlighting the importance of maintaining eye care and regular screening.
The one-day event, themed as ‘Eye Care Everywhere' and organised by HMC’s Ophthalmology Department in Doha from 7am to 3pm, offered free eye examinations and other tests for visitors and staff of the hospital.
The annual celebration is being observed every second Thursday of October around the world and aims to raise public awareness on visual impairment and blindness.
Dr al-Kaabi said these HMC activities and screenings give people an opportunity to have their eyes checked and get proper advice or referral for immediate treatment.
“Such eye diseases can be easily treated when detected early so we advise and encourage people to undergo screenings regularly,” he stressed. “Many of the people who come to our clinic are unaware of their condition and have to take care of their eyes.”
“When we detect some diseases we give them an urgent appointment to the clinic within a week or two,” Dr al-Kaabi said, noting that they referred 20 people between 7am and 11am yesterday.
He also advised people to wear sunglasses especially during the summer to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet or high-energy visible rays.
Specialist ophthalmologist Dr Deena Safwan H H Zeedan, also a member of HMC’s blindness prevention committee, echoed Dr al-Kaabi’s statement saying that regular eye screening, especially for people with diabetes, prevents complications.
“Diabetes is very common in Qatar and there is a higher risk of developing an eye disease especially if it is uncontrolled because of the lifestyle, the reduced activities, morbid obesity,” she noted.
Dr Zeedan said they advise patients with glaucoma to undergo routine screening every four to six months for repeated tests to monitor their eyes’ health.
She also advised people to the cautious and consult their ophthalmologists first before using alternative eye treatments other than eye glasses.
“Usually if it is sold in a store they don’t provide a lot of information and education about the use, storage and the possible complications of these treatments,” Dr Zeedan added.
HMC’s Ophthalmology Department, she noted, conducts several free eye screenings in public places such as malls to reach more people apart from the World Sight Day celebration.
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