World Optometry Day – 23 March 2022

Article category: News .
March 23, 2022
Retina South Africa in collaboration with the South African Optometric Association is highlighting the crucial role of Optometrists during World Optometry Day – 23rd March 2022.

Claudette Medefindt Head of Science and patient services says:

Optometrists are usually the first eye care professional that the public sees. They are crucial in identifying serious eye conditions and referring these patients to an Ophthalmologist for further tests, diagnosis and where possible, treatments.

Karen Denton, head of Advocacy and Education is a world expert on the effects and prevention of Diabetes added

We know that diabetes can cause serious retinal damage. Incipient retinal damage can be picked up with good screening methods years before the individual is aware that their sight is threatened.

Retina South Africa applauds the commitment by Optometric practices to install Fundus cameras, which take a photograph of the retina and can detect early retinal changes long before any other symptoms of Diabetes can be seen. Coupled to an AI diagnosis this is an accurate early warning system that will allow for drastic changes in lifestyle to prevent disease progression.

Karen Denton added

Choosing healthy foods and moderate daily exercise may mean a reversal or improvement of the condition. South Africans eat a brown and white diet, Pap and Wors, Steak and Chips whereas a colourful diet that includes all the colours of the rainbow, and plenty of green, leafy vegetables is absolutely vital to prevent diabetes, and thereafter, to curtail the often-devastating complications associated with the condition.

This early intervention can also have a major positive effect on preventing other complications such as heart and kidney disease, strokes, limb amputation and of course retinal Vision loss.

So who should be concerned – in short anyone who has an increase in abdominal fat. If your waist is larger than your hips you could be heading into trouble.


Did you know?
12.8% of South Africans have diabetes – International Diabetes Federation 2019.
20% who are newly diagnosed already have established retinopathy – damage to the retina.


Did you know ?
People who are obese are at risk for severe Covid infections.
Research has established that 14.4% of people who are hospitalised with a severe Covid infection are newly diagnosed with diabetes

ACT NOW. Measure your waist and if it is larger than your hips, please visit an Eye Care Professional to get a fundus photo.

If you are showing signs of micro changes in the retinal vasculature you could be in trouble. See an eye specialist, change your lifestyle to change and save your life. For more information contact Retina South Africa –

Karen Denton
Head of Advocacy and Education
Mobile: 081 311 2255

Claudette Medefindt
Head of Science Retina South Africa  
Director Retina International
Mobile: 0833065262

Retina South Africa   
Tel: +27 (11)4501181 

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