Novartis partners with local diabetes and eye specialists

by: Cesar D. Mangawang

Freelance writer and editor Malou Rosal has been suffering from diabetes for 20 years now and has been diagnosed with diabetes macular edema (DME) in the ’90s. A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is characterized by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
In patients with DME, leakage from these abnormal blood vessels occurs in the central portion of the retina called the macula. Because this part of the eye is responsible for sharp central vision, DME can lead to significant visual impairment.
Diabetes runs in Rosal’s family except for one who is not diabetic. Rosal is taking oral medication but she can be a pasaway (noncompliant) patient. She would visit her doctor irregularly. Once, when she ate a lot while on vacation, she experienced recurring (regular) headaches and her blood glucose (sugar) level rose to 300 mg/dL. (Blood sugar level is the amount of glucose in the blood. A normal sugar level is less then 100 mg/dL after fasting at least eight hours. It’s less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.) Because of this, she was rushed to the hospital and was confined there.
Rosal’s doctor was concerned about her health. She underwent eye operation, which was successful. Since then her attitude changed from refusal to comply with the advice of her doctors (ophthalmologist and endocrinologist) to willingness to do whatever they ask her to do. She’s now being invited to speak before diabetics with vision problems or before media practitioners who are concerned about public awareness on diabetes complications leading to blindness………..
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