Dr Amira Howari
I live with type 1 diabetes, am a Clinical Optometrist and Industry Speaker so I have a unique insight into the challenges of living with diabetes and maintaining good eye health.
My job gives me the opportunity to help people like myself.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was nine years old and have lived with the condition for 26 years.
In my job, I’m able to share my journey with people as well as my mistakes, my lessons and my achievements. Ultimately, I can connect with people on a deeper level because I know. I am living it. All of it. The ups and downs, the in-betweens. The naivety at times, the frustrations, the confrontations and the exhaustion.
But on the other side I have also seen the breakthroughs, the enlightenment, the wisdom, the discipline and the empowerment that comes with it when you push through and persist.
That’s why I also encourage eye health professionals to take a more active role in understanding the health situation of their patients with diabetes.
As an optometrist I know that a person’s diabetic retinopathy can reflect their diabetes self-management and the length of time they have been living with diabetes. I believe it’s important for someone’s healthcare team – their optometrist, GP, endocrinologist and others to work together with patients to set realistic and positive goals.
I also believe that to reduce the number of people with diabetic retinopathy we need more eye checks for people with diabetes in rural and remote areas as well as community-screenings and information sessions.
My work experience includes corporate, independent, ophthalmology and pharmaceutical settings. I have worked at The University of New South Wales as a guest lecturer and clinical supervisor. I currently serve as a member of the Diabetes and Endocrine Network- Agency of Clinical Innovation (NSW Health) and was the founder of the PEACE conference.