413,000 Malaysians over 50 have eye problems

Dr Teo gets ready to release balloons to launch the campaign.

MIRI: The National Eye Census 2014 shows that 413,000 Malaysians over 50 have eye problems.

“From the number, 113,000 are classified as blind due to cataracts (58.6 pct), diabetic retinopathy (10.4 pct), glaucoma (6.6 pct). About 86 pct of them can be treated,” Miri MP Dr Michael Teo said at the launch of World Sight Day here yesterday.

Referring to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report in 2017, Dr Teo revealed that a total of 253 million people worldwide experienced visual impairment, which is 36 million more than those in blindness.

Among the most common causes of visual impairment is blindness and cataracts. Fortunately, more than 80 per cent of sight disorders can be prevented and even treated.

“With the theme of this year’s World Vision Day ‘Eyecare Everywhere’, attention needs to be given to accessibility, readiness, access to the patients’ channel for screening and eye treatment.”

In line with the theme, Dr Teo said he was glad to note that a team from the Department of Ophthalmology at Miri Hospital has set up a free screening session for the public, yesterday.

Those at high risk such as diabetics, those with a family history of glaucoma, low vision children, and older adults, took the opportunity to be screened.

Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong, ophthalmology specialist Dr Ng Wei Loon and Lions Club Region 3 chairman Kapitan Jee Kee Hiong were among those present at the ceremony.

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