Hyderabad: Social isolation amongst patients with poor vision is a common thing in the society. Specially, old people with waning strength, alertness, sharpness of sight, they find it highly difficult to conduct daily activities and exist socially with respect and importance. Poor vision also results in increasing chances of accidents.
Ophthalmologists across India feel for their patients who suffer social isolation due to poor vision. Of all other eye ailments, cataract is the most prevalent disease causing vision loss in patients.
Practicing ophthalmologist at Maxivision Eye Hospital Hyderabad, Dr.Kasu Prasad Reddyaccounts his experience further, “Around 10 patients of cataract visit me daily. The prevalence of cataract in our country is still high. Although there is considerable improvement, the affected elderly feel dependent and are unable to pursue their favorite activities. What advanced technology has gifted us is beyond doubt a boon. This is being done by intraocular lenses with extended range of vision lens options providing better quality of vision with reduced spectacle dependency post-transplant.”
IOLs are artificial lenses which are implanted in the eye while conducting cataract surgery.
Blindness is a major healthcare concern in India with over 80 Lakh people affected by it and cataract accounts to around 62% of vision loss.
While cataract cannot be prevented, it is treatable through IOL implants, which are used to replace the natural eye lenses. Most importantly, blindness due to cataract can be prevented. One of the safest surgeries in the world, cataract operation enjoys a high success rate, above 90% at most places in the world. The important factor to focus upon is the expected outcome and quality of vision after the surgery.
With the growing desires of leading an independent, active life, vision loss due to cataract at any age comes as a big impediment to hopes of people. However, with modern advancement in IOLs, patients have many alternatives.
Elaborating on the quality of available treatment options,Dr. Reddy reflects “The quality of vision after surgery determines the quality of life the patient is going to experience. Of many alternatives, with monofocal IOLs, spectacles become a necessity and transition between near and distance vision is not smooth. Although multifocal lenses are better in correcting the shortcomings of monofocals, but they too display chromatic aberration, halos and glare, and unclear night vision. Addressing these concerns, the new extended range-of-vision lenses give impeccable clarity and contrast of vision, and reduce dependency on spectacles. The night vision through these lenses is uninterrupted, with reduced incidence of halos or glares.”
Cataract was conventionally considered as an age-related disease but today it is not restricted to older population now. Factors like diabetes, long-term use of steroid medicines, prolonged exposure to indoor pollution and even ultraviolet rays can lead to cataract at young and old people alike. It is also important for patients to undergo cataract surgery as early as possible, and not let the cataract mature. Today, cataract surgery is considerably a straight-forward day care procedure. Vision is restored to patients within hours of surgery. Patients return home and can resume daily activities the same day with some precautions and careful postoperative care ensures a safe and speedy recovery.
Reflecting on the advisable measures for eye health, Dr K.P Reddy says “People in rural areas do not come for checkups. I have lived for 20 years in England where eye health check up is free for everybody. If detected early, cataract can be eliminated. The government has already introduced Vision 2020 for cataract patients which are a great start. The voice of media in the spread of technologies holds a pivotal role in spreading eye health awareness and its possible treatments. Every person should get his/her eye checked once every year and diabetic patients should get their eyes checked every 6 months because they are prone to total vision loss or retinopathy.”