Patients of all ages receive life-changing help, all thanks to the Outreach teams working in remote areas of Egypt on behalf of The Ridley Eye Foundation.
Some of the patients that Dr. Ireni examines have already lost sight in one eye. When she finds a cataract in the other eye, the patient is often very scared they will completely lose their sight and they are therefore frightened to have surgery on the other eye. One elderley woman Dr Ireni examined had lost sight in one eye during an operation in a goverment hospital. She was anxious about having another operation as she feared losing her sight completely. Dr Ireni told her that she would eventually lose her sight through glaucoma and a mature cataract if she did not have the operation. She was persuaded to come to Harpur Memorial Hospital in Menouf for a cataract operation and she recovered sight in one eye. When Dr Ireni saw her a few weeks later the patient was so happy and said " I was so afraid but I am very happy that I trusted you.
Many think they just need glasses, but when she examines them she finds they need cataract surgery. Some people refuse to have surgery saying " I am too old " or " I wont live long" and just ask for the drops.
During outreaches, Dr Ireni often examines people who do not understand about cataracts and they think that losing their sight is an inevitable result of old age.
The outreach often return to the same villages, which means that Dr Ireni and the other doctors can continue to follow-up with patients. When patients hear that a relative or neighbour has had a successful cataract surgery and regained their sight, they change their mind and come to the hospital for the operation.
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