District 20 K-1 Lions, encompassing Brooklyn and Queens, recently donated a much-needed Retina Vue 700 Imager, considered the world’s most advanced retinal camera, to Queens Hospital Center.
According to District 20 K-1 Diabetes Chairperson, Jamaican-born Lion Beverley Campbell, Lions of District 20 K-1, District Governor Lion Ingrid Andrews-Campbell, a Vincentian-born, secured a Community Impact Grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) in the amount of $11,449. The Governor received a District 20K1 community grant of $2377.00 and a $5,040 donation from Central Brooklyn Lions Club the Governors” home club. The total of $18,867.00 dollars were use to purchase this vital piece of equipment .
Lions International Director Dianne Pitts, her partner in service, PCC Joe Pitts; First VDG Lion Antonio Robles; Second VDG Lion Romeo Hitlall; and past Lions International Board Member-PDG Lion Leroy Foster witnessed “this momentous achievement of our District Governor Lion Ingrid (Andrews-Campbell)”, according to Campbell.
“It is estimated that over 90 to 100,000 community members across ages will be given the opportunity to have early vision testing that we hope will save them from serious diabetic retina issues,” Campbell told Caribbean Life on Sunday.
“The Retina Vue 700 Imager is an effective, affordable and scalable primary care solution to help doctors achieve up to 90 percent diabetic retinal/funds eye exam compliance,” she added. “The Retina Vue 700 accurately documents chronic conditions and complications to improve care, coordination, planning and risk adjustment coverage, and improves cost of care with early detection and treatment.”
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that can cause vision loss and even blindness. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak or hemorrhage, ultimately distorting vision once progressed to severe levels.
Campbell said here are about 463 million people in the world living with diabetes, and that 80 percent of diabetic patients will eventually develop some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
“The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they are to develop diabetic retinopathy,” she said, adding that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, “allowing the disease to progress until it affects vision.”
Once symptoms appear, Campbell said vision loss may be permanent, even with treatment.
Symptoms that indicate advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy include: Blurry vision, halos around lights, loss of central and color vision, and floaters.
Campbell said the typical standard of care for diabetic patients is to receive an annual diabetic retinal exam with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
“Unfortunately, only about half of patients with diabetes visit the eye specialist for annual retinal exams,” she said. “To help increase compliance, new technology has been developed to bring diabetic retinal exams into primary care settings.”
Campbell and Andrews-Campbell hope that “the success of this project will benefit the community for many years to come.”