Eye Talk With Dr. Yong Larrazabal

LIFE STYLE

Freeman

August 17 2008

Eye talk with Dr. Yong Larrazabal

The eyes are very important part of the body. The great Roman orator Marcus Tulius Cicero even said that the eyes, like sentinel, occupy the highest place in the body. We see the beauty of God’s creations with our eyes and without these, this beautiful world would just be black space.

Ophthalmologist Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III of Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, Larrazabal Eye and Centre for Sight shared that 70 to a hundred people visit his clinic everyday for consultations. He said the hospital has invested so much on new equipment to better serve patients who come to them for different eye conditions. Infact, Dr. Yong said that aside from having a team of young and innovative doctors, he regularly attends conventions abroad to improve his craft. Last year, he attended a convention in Sweden and this year in Berlin.

“We want to provide our patients with world class eye care at affordable rates. That’s why we want to constantly be updated with what’s new in our field,” he added.

According to Dr. Yong, the most common eye problem, based on the number of patients who visit his clinic, are cataracts, and those who want to have Lasik treatment.

Cataracts, he explained, causes visit to become opaque or clouded. This interferes with vision by blocking out light. It is most often due to the normal aging process. A cataract clouds vision by preventing light from passing through the lens to focus on the retina at the back of the eye.

Lasik, meanwhile, stands for LASER ASSISTED IN SITU KERATOMILEUSIS, a form of laser surgery capable of correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure uses a computer controlled excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct vision. The laser reshaping is done under a protective flap of tissue to promote a very rapid recovery of vision and minimize discomfort.

Cataract

“The lens of the eye works much like the lens of a camera. If the lens of your camera is dirty or fogged, then the picture taken will be hazy or blurred. A cataract causes the light focusing on the retina to be blurred in the same manner,” he said, adding that aging causes cataracts and the average age of people who go to him with the problem is 65 years old. A person who has a cataract has a darkened, cloudy, yellow and blurred vision.

But while having cataracts are inevitable because everyone ages, Dr. Yong said that there are procedures that can correct the problem.

Cataract surgery, he said, is an outpatient procedure that uses local anesthesia in the form of eyedrops to ensure comfort. He shared but he usually does five to 10 cataract surgeries a day. “Patients are awake during the surgery. Eye patches are not even required after surgery, and restrictions are minimal,” he added.

A small incision is made in the eye during a cataract surgery. Then, the cataractous lens is dissolved and removed using ultrasound or what is called phacoemulsification. A special intraocular lens or lens implant is then put in place to replace the lens that was removed.

“Since it is usually old people who get cataracts, there is this thinking that their eye problems do not need to be corrected. But this is wrong. Old people are already slow in movement so the only things they get to enjoy are the things that they see like their grandchildren, television. Cataract surgery can make the quality of life of these people better,” he said.

Lasik

Lasik treatment, Dr. Yong said, is recommended for patients 18 years or older who have nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism, or hyperopia and meet certain visual and medical criteria.

“Because of Lasik, people who dreamed of becoming pilots, stewardesses or policemen but were no0t accepted because they do not have 20/20 vision were able to become what they want to be,” beamed Dr. Yong.

He said the best candidates for such treatment are those are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses and are motivated to make a change, whether it’s due to occupational or lifestyle reasons. The procedure, he explained, usually takes about five to 10 minutes.

While some eye problems like cataracts are inevitable, Dr. Yong said that the best way to take care of one’s eye is to live a healthy lifestyle and use protective eyewear like sunglasses when out in the sun.

“Smoking, diabetes and steroid use can also cause early cataracts so one really has to take care of one’s health to be able to take care of one’s eyes,” he said.(EXECUTIVE EDITOR: MARLINDA ANGBETIC TAN, ASST. LIFESTYLE EDITOR: QUENNIE SANCHEZ)

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One Response to “Eye Talk With Dr. Yong Larrazabal”

  1. I’m looking for an eye center that would offer an answer to my partner’s eye problem. He has myopia and astigmatism in both eyes.I need to know how much does it cost as well.Thanx!

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