Routine Testing Is the Best Medicine for Vision Problems - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/24/06

Routine Testing Is the Best Medicine for Vision Problems

We can learn a lot from a campaign that's underway in Britain right now. The Royal National Institute for the Blind estimates that 2 million of the British will lose their eyesight, simply because they're not getting their eyes tested like they should.

"It makes me feel very despondent to see them being led in by a friend or relative and to discover that they had a condition which would have been preventable and by drops or laser treatment and now we can't bring back that eyesight and we have to register them blind or partially-sighted," said Denise Mabey, an opthalmic surgeon.

It is believed that an aging population and an increase in the number of people with diabetes is likely to trigger a huge rise in the number of people with vision problems. And the sad irony in this is that millions who face blindness could prevent that fate if their condition was discovered early. The reason people don't go in for tests is that it's often hard to "see" the symptoms. So, patients don't know there's a problem brewing, until the damage is done.

The institute suggests those under age 16 should get their eyes checked every year and adults every two years.

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