September 26, 2014

No More Cataract Blindness

VISTA Eye Specialist launches campaign to fight against Cataract as the #1 cause of blindness in Malaysia.

The launch was held in Dialogue in the Dark, Jaya One.

Dialogue in the Dark is a very unique place where visitors experience being visually impaired for around an hour. Visitors are led by blind guides through specially constructed dark rooms in which your senses of  scent, sound, wind, temperature and texture are put to test.

Do you know that everyone in their lives will surely have cataract when you reach a certain age?
Like no kidding, you WILL get cataract in your lifetime. 

The 'No More Cataract Blindness' campaign is important to eliminate cataract as the #1 cause of blindness in Malaysia.
VISTA together with its partners, Alcon, Dialogue in the Dark, Patlin Communications, HELP University, MSU and SEGi College join forces to raise awareness.

Cataract is responsible for 39% of all cases of visual impairments in Malaysia, making it the leading cause of blindness among Malaysians. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to treat cataract early. It cannot be prevented, but it can be treated with surgery. Treat cataract early before it turns to blindness!

Speaking at the launch was from left, Mr Lim Boon Siong, Founder and CEO of VISTA, Dr Aloysius, Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist of VISTA and Mr. Stevens Chan, the CEO and Founder of Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia. 

Cataract blindness is preventable. However, people are still experiencing loss of vision because of cataract. This shows a great need for increased awareness on how cataract can lead to blindness but at the same time, there are treatment options available. Cataract should be treated early before it leads to something worst. Cataract surgery is actually one of the safest procedures thanks to the many technological advancements and innovations over the years. You don't even need to stay overnight in the hospital anymore after surgery. You can go back around 3 hours after surgery! Cataract seem to never come back to haunt again after one surgery.

The cataract-forming process can be slowed down by consuming anti oxidants. Going green has a new meaning. According to Dr.Aloysius, any fruit and veges which are green in colour has the highest antioxidants. So, readers, you know what to look out for when eating. 
Start gulping those green apples, green grapes, green pears, green vege and anything green!!

Mr. Stevens himself is visually impaired. He was diagnosed with glaucoma in 2002 and underwent a 5-year battle to fight against the condition. He gradually lost his vision in 2007 after 9 surgeries. However, he is such an inspiring person as he used his experience to prevent what he went through from happening to others by founding 2 non-profit organisations and in 2012 he founded Dialogue in the Dark and empowered the visually impaired community to reach their fullest potential.
He very graciously agreed to work with VISTA to help eradicate preventable blindness and help those affected by cataract to get a new lease of life.

Also present were student representatives from the three participating universities- HELP, MSU and SEGi University to support the fight against cataract. As part of the campaign, the student teams are to organise several external Eye Roadshows or Seminars as well as initiate a fund-raising activity for a pre-determined charity organisation.

The team with the most most effective and successful project will be conferred the VISTA Cataract Fighter Award with trophy, cash prize along with a certificate of achievement.

Student representative from HELP talking about his fund-raising project.

Student representatives from MSU sharing their ideas in creating awareness.

Patricia from Patlin(partner in this campaign), Dr Aloysius, Mr. Lim and Stevens launching the campaign of 'No More Cataract Blindness'

The partners with the students.

We were excited to be able to experience ourselves the Dialogue in the Dark room. We were given a tour in darkness on how does it feel like to be blind for 30 minutes. And trust me, 30 minutes was VERY long especially when you are not used to the darkness in a foreign place and there was even the feeling of being afraid in the dark.

The starting point before entering total darkness.
We were given a walking stick each to feel the ground to make sure if there are steps or if the ground was not level and if there's anyone in front of you.

The number one thing I was afraid of, eventhough we went in a group of 8 was- Getting Lost!
I even asked the guide that what if I got lost in the darkness and not able to get out? He assured me saying there are CCTVs LOL But yes, my fear was relevant because we were only guided by the tour guide's voice and nothing else and you should follow the voice. It really scares me when his voice was getting farther and farther and suddenly you are just touching walls after walls leading to nowhere.

It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should experience. You would really appreciate your eyesight better. Out of the 5 senses, eyesight, to me is most important. But our other senses were put to play in the dark room when we needed to feel the environment we were in, like in a forest, bar, boat etc

Admission fee is only RM30 for an hour for adult
Youth aged 13-17 is only RM25.
Children(7-12) pays RM20.

Us with the founder, Stevens.

So, readers, eat your greens, get your annual eye checkups, check if you experience any blurness and please please please treat cataract early before you go blind and the world is a total darkness.

VISTA will be organising an eye carnival and will be held at VISTA The Curve, Klang and AmpWalk at Ampang from 10-12 October 2014; and at One City, Subang, Bangsar and Johor from 17-19 October 2014. There will be eye screenings, games and fun activities and special prices for selected packages at the carnival.

Help fight Cataract Blindness!

P/S: I even went back to Dialogue in the Dark for a second tour!

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