Oliver Bugarin 6 0 0 3 min to read

One of the main causes of vision impairment in Filipinos is cataracts.

According to the Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI), 1.18 million, or 1.06 percent of the population, have cataracts, making it one of the main causes of vision impairment in Filipinos.

In an online media forum, PERI Director Dr. Leo Cubillan noted that the data came from the general population’s Philippine eye disease study (PEDS) and defined cataracts as an ailment where the eye’s lens develops cloudy spots.

“Mga 393,000 lang naman ang may kailangan ng operasyon no because there isn’t a single ophthalmologist in the entire country, so pinipili rin natin. Only 393,000 people need surgery. “Yung mas malabo ang mata, “yun ang nauunang operahan. We prioritize people with extremely poor eyesight for surgery because there aren’t many ophthalmologists in the nation,” he stated.

Uncorrected refractive error affects 423,000 people (0.38 percent), glaucoma affects 300,000 (0.27 percent), and maculopathy and diabetic retinopathy affect 223,000 people (0.2 percent).

According to Cubillan, diabetes mellitus retinopathy is the presence of blood in the eyes as a result of high blood sugar levels, whereas glaucoma is damage to the nerve in the back of the eye caused by high pressure.

Infections in the cornea are another of the top 10 factors contributing to visual impairment in Filipinos, he continued.

According to Cubillan, 4.62 million Filipinos have mild vision impairment that can be treated with the use of the proper eyeglasses, according to the PEDS 2018.

He recommended performing visual screening on patients 60 years of age and older to check for the existence of cataracts, uncorrected refractive error, glaucoma, maculopathy, or diabetes mellitus retinopathy.

The Universal Health Care law will be used by the Department of Health to respond to developing eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma as well as to provide comprehensive eye care services, integrate eye care within local health systems, and provide these services in 2019.

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