Eye Care Blog

Free eye care, eyeglasses for the most impoverished Dominicans

Added 29/3/2010

As part of its Blindness Prevention program in the Dominican Republic, the Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) is partnering with the Student Volunteer Optometrists for Service of Humanity (SVOSH) of the New England College of Optometry to bring 22 students and faculty to deliver critical eye care and fee eye glasses to 1500 children and adults with eye problems, in need of a pair of glasses, and who are living in extreme poverty.

The seven-day mission activities, co-sponsored by the Lions Club Arroyo Hondo Santo Domingo, will take place from April March 10th through the 18th inside impoverished sugarcane plantations communities of YAMASA, province of Monte Plata. “Hundreds are expected to travel far away and beyond the bateyes take advantage of this once-in-a-life-time opportunity to check and treat their vision,” said Nicole Ross, SVOSH-NECO President.

Ross also added that patients who need follow-up or specialized care will be referred to BRA’s medical center in Monte Plata where complete optometric and ophthalmologic care is provided to thousands in each year.

The SVOSH-NECO team, a long-time partner to BRA, is fully-equipped and self-sufficient, and will travel with sophisticated equipment, thousands of dollars in medicines, eye drops, eyeglasses and supplies.

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Eye Dryness on Increase

Added 26/3/2010

The number of people suffering from dry eyes has doubled in the past six years, possibly due to workers staying indoors without adequate ventilation systems.

According to research by the National Health Insurance Corporation (NHIC), the number of people treated for lachrymal gland disorders marked 1.5 million in 2008, compared to 744,000 in 2002. The corporation had to spend 77 billion won in 2008 for coverage.

Dry eyes is a condition in which a person’s eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly.

This can lead to eyes drying out and becoming inflamed. In serious cases it can cause visual impairment or scarring of the eye’s surface.

More women suffer from the disease― their number is double that of men. The NHIC assumed that changes in hormone levels after menopause can affect the secretion of tears.

There are various other causes for the condition ― a disorder in the immune system, genetic factors, or injuries among others.

However, the state-run organization said working in offices with heating or cooling systems operating all day long can explain the growing number of patients, many of whom are younger than the conventional patients in their 60s.

“Many people visit their optician in August and January, when many workplaces and houses keep the windows shut because they have air conditioning or heating on. We also think many workers looking at computer screens all day long causes great fatigue and various disorders to the eyes,” the corporation said in a press release.

Dr. Jang Jae-woo of Kim Optical Clinic advised people to use “artificial tears” to soften up the eye’s surface. He also advised people not to rub the eyes and to wear safety glasses when it feels like the wind is hurting the eyes.

“With yellow dust expected to get into the eyes, people should pay extra attention to eye health,” he said.

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Sankara Eye Hospital to expand its Community programmes

Added 25/3/2010

Bangalore, March 23, 2010: Sankara Eye Hospital, Bangalore and Shimoga, part of India's leading chain of super specialty and affordable eye care hospitals today shared the highlights and the future plans of the hospital for expansion of its rural outreach programs that cater to a large population of underprivileged people suffering from visual ailments across Karnataka.  Till date, the Hospital has conducted 414 free eye screening camps, and performed in excess of 17013 free eye surgeries. Under the aegis of its “Mision for Vision”, Sankara has launched a number of community programmes like Gift of Vision - a rural outreach eye camp, to identify individuals from the rural population of Karnataka who are suffering from corneal blindness, cataract, glaucoma and other eye ailments and to provide them with medical and surgical treatment free of cost. Its other community programs include Rainbow, Maithri, Swagatham, Nanna Kannu programme and Nayantara, a comprehensive eye care programme for the Children in Karnataka has till date screened more than 31,000 needy children. The hospital recently completed two years of existence and during this time, it has tried to generate awareness about Glaucoma, Eye Donation, Cataract, Conjunctivitis and Diabetic Retinopathy. The Ocular Oncology Department of Sankara is only of its kind in Karnataka, it has also been successful in treating large number of children with eye cancers .The Hospital currently offers surgical care and chemotherapy and aims to include brachytheraphy (radiation treatment) in its facility.
Dr. Umesh, Chief Medical Officer, Sankara Eye Hospital said, “We are extremely delighted that our Hospital in Bangalore has been bestowed with ‘Namma Bengaluru awards 2009’, it has definitely motivated us to move a step further in our mission of eradicating curable blindness from India. Our Hospital has successfully completed two years of excellence in eye care. With India shouldering the largest burden of global blindness, of which 80 percent is curable or preventable, we plan to expand the outreach of our programs. The main reasons for these ailments are lack of affordable treatment, acute shortage of Ophthalmologists and donated eyes for the treatment of corneal disorder. We at Sankara are committed to address these issues through our community outreach programs. They are designed to fulfill the needs of underprivileged people and our focus will always remain to reach the masses and make our mission successful”.

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