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Feb 25, 2010

Healthy Living opens its eyes

eye examTaking an eye test is an easy and uncomplicated procedure, one that should be done at least once for the year.  There are organizations that offer the test for free so there is no reason to delay this important trip to the optometrist. Healthy Living explains the importance of keeping your vision twenty-twenty.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Our eyes capture a multitude of sights each passing moment. The vision that we take for granted is most valued when we encounter problems with our eyes. One way in which some vision loss can be prevented is by getting your eyes examined on a yearly basis. The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired offers free eye exams at their clinic and encourage yearly testing.

Freddy Nicholson, Optometrist, BCVI

“Firstly, having problem with the eye sight sometimes it doesn’t have any symptoms. You won’t feel anything that’s why it’s always useful to have your eye tested every year even though if you feel okay but you have something either high pressure, glaucoma, or refractive error. Usually, if you have any of those symptoms, if you don’t get tested you’ll lose the sight without noticing until you are like… hand movement or count fingers then you’ll come to me and I can’t do nothing. That’s why it’s very useful to come check so that we can diagnose and detect it early and avoid getting blind avoid any damages in the sight.”

As is the common practice when it comes to health concerns, Freddy notes that few people who visit the clinic come as a preventive measure.

Freddy Nicholson

“Every day I see about twenty- to thirty patients and out of that only about two or three of them come because they just wanna do a checkup. A lot of them come cause they have something already. The main one is the refractive error, the needing of glasses. The other one is glaucoma, that’s high pressure in the eye and usually damages the back of the eye losing sight. The other one is diabetic retinopathy and the last one cataract.”

He also notes that most of his patients are women above the age of forty. The importance of screening the eyes is equally important for children as well.

Freddy Nicholson

“From young babies to an old age; it’s always once a year. Well some people like diabetics it is every six months if they are diagnosed with diabetes retinopathy.”

The tests conducted at the clinic are basic.

Freddy Nicholson

“We test the visual acuity to test how you see. Then if you need glasses, if it improve with glasses then if you don’t improve with glasses then I do several test with the lamp to see if you have any cataract or any damages to the back of the eye. Then check the pressure to see if you have any signs of glaucoma. If I notice any of those then I refer them to the ophthalmologist.”

Long overdue an eye exam,  I had my eyes screened. The first is the Visual Acuity test.

Freddy Nicholson

“It’s a twenty feet long chart and has different kinds of sizes in the letter and if you’re able to see 20/20 from twenty feet distance then it means you’re good.”

Then the slit lamp test

Freddy Nicholson

“I look into the eye and see if there are any damages in the eye on the inside.”

This is usually followed by glaucoma testing. The tests are simple and painless and may help you maintain a healthy vision.

Freddy Nicholson

“I encourage for you to have your eyes checked at least once a year to avoid any other complications. You could feel normal, you could see good but just come in and have your eyes checked.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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