Mrs Bahijeh Fahim, Taybeh, April 2011
Mrs Bahijeh Fahim is a 63 year old Palestinian woman from the village of Taybeh, near Ramallah. With six grown-up, married children, she acts as carerfor her grandchildren.
Mrs Fahim presented at our Outreach Clinic when it visited Taybeh, complaining of cloudy vision. She had been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus 15 years earlier.
*Mrs Fahim undergoing examination
Upon examination it was discovered that she had severe diabetic retinopathy with bilateral macular edema.
Macular edema occurs when fluid and protein deposits collect on or under the macula of the eye (a yellow central area of the retina) and causes it to thicken and swell. As the macula is near the centreof the retina at the back of the eyeball, where tightly packed cones that provide sharp, clear central vision enable a person to see detail, form, and color that is directly in the direction of gaze, an edema can distort central vision.
Bilaterally – in both eyes – this is a potentially serious problem in itself. While sight lost to diabetic retinopathy cannot be recovered.
Mrs Fahim had had her eyes checked by a local ophthalmologist two years previously. She had been told then that she was suffering from mild diabetic retinopathy and that she would need to monitor her blood sugar and have regular check ups.
Unfortunately, she hadn’t followed the Doctor’s advice, and ignored the deteriorating vision until she was screened again by our Outreach team.
Upon being seen by the team, Mrs Fahim was advised that she would need to be referred to our Hospital in Jerusalem for farther investigation and management.
Mrs Bahijeh was relieved and happy that she had had the opportunity to be examined by the Hospital Group’s Outreach team. Thankful that we would make very effort to get her to Jerusalem, she was assured that her condition could now be properly controlled and that she would not go blind.
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