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Saturday, September 19th, 2020

Delaying the Eye problem with pandemic fears leading us for permanent blindness ?

- Dr. Kasu Prasad Reddy -
 

Patients with severe comorbidities were one of the most affected amongst the many sections that have been affected by the COVID19 pandemic. They were hit hard by the lockdown imposed across India in April and May unable to move out for treatments, no proper guidance from the doctors, not enough attention was paid towards ill patients as they stayed indoors. They have not only been hit hard by the lockdown but the effects of it were very damaging for them in many other ways. But it was mandatory for the government of India to impose restrictions in the larger interest of the people of the country and we must obey the guidelines with no other alternative option.

From June onwards the government has started relaxing the restrictions which helped out some serious patients with various illnesses to undergo treatment and take recourse of the doctors and their advice. Still, the majority of the patients whose condition is aggravating further are reluctant to visit the hospitals with the fears of cross-infection of COVID19. This may be true to some extent but in another way, it may be fatal as well. Keeping in view of the fears of the patients majority of hospitals are carrying out diligent infection control practices and protocols in the pandemic in all the hospitals. Take an example of MaxiVision Eye hospital which has seen an estimated 50,000 visitors to 14 branch hospitals from 1st of June till 31st July out of which 20,000 are patients with various eye problems. No single visitor got cross-infection of COVID19.

There are certain eye problems like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy which are the cause of irreparable/permanent blindness for many in India if not treated in time. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.  The symptoms will begin slowly that one may not notice them. The only way one can find out if they have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye exam done.  There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often prevent the damage and protect your vision. Depending upon the severity of the case doctors may advise medicine or laser treatments or Surgery.

As per the reports, there are approximately 11.2 million persons aged 40 years and older with glaucoma in India. Primary open-angle glaucoma is estimated to affect 6.48 million persons. The estimated number with primary angle-closure glaucoma is 2.54 million. Those with any form of the primary angle-closure disease could comprise 27.6 million persons. Most of those with the disease are undetected and there exist major challenges in detecting and treating those with the disease.

Another cause of permanent blindness is Diabetic Retinopathy if not treated in time. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). Not properly controlled or poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor. Early symptoms include blurry vision, dark areas of vision, and difficulty recognizing colors. It may lead to blindness. Mild cases may be treated with careful diabetes management. Advanced cases may require laser treatment or surgery. There are millions of patients with diabetic retinopathy in India.

The eye is one of the most important sense organs of the body. It should be seen with the utmost care, delaying the problem with pandemic fears may lead us to permanent blindness.

SOME DO’S & DON’T’S:

Here are a few tips to protect yourselves from the cross-infection of COVID19.

1.      Maintaining personal hygiene is the most important precaution one has to take.

2.      Wash your hands especially before eating after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

3.      Avoid touching your face particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.

4.      If you wear contact lenses avoid using them during monsoon, as the chances of infection are higher during monsoon.

5.      Visit the hospitals which follow diligent infection control practices and protocols in the pandemic in the hospitals

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About the Author
Dr. Kasu Prasad Reddy
Author & Consultant
 
Dr. Kasu Prasad Reddy – Chief Surgeon & Founder of MaxiVision Eye Hospitals, Hyderabad.
 
Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her / his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.

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