Diabetics, Be alert to Eye Problems and Talk to Doctors Early
Despite the latest technologies to treat eyesight problems, lack of awareness among patients is preventing the reduction in incidence of blindness in the state. Listing out the various types of eye-related disease, retinal surgeon Dr Amjad Salman, chairman of the scientific committee of theTamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association (TNOA), told that cataract, corneal blindness, refractive error on children, glaucoma, retinal and diabetic retinopathy generally affect people. But diabetes was nowadays becoming a challenge to eye care with one-fourth of the population being affected by the disorder.
Dr Salman spoke on the sidelines of the 60th annual conference of TNOA held in Trichy. As many as 900 delegates from across the country attended the three-day conference that concluded on Sunday. The conference was aimed at disseminating awareness about the latest advances in the field. Around 210 thesis papers were submitted by the delegates and more than 18 live surgeries were relayed from Joseph Eye Hospital, Trichy, to the delegates.
“All diabetic patients are prone to diabetic retinopathy. Early diagnosis of the disease will prevent patients from losing their vision. Prevalence of diabetes in India in 2010 was 50.6 million. Of these, an estimated 17.6 percent had diabetic retinopathy and 5.3 percent had defective vision due to diabetic retinopathy. Nevertheless, diabetic patients were unaware of the disease,” he said.
About the expense for the retinal treatment, he said, “The chief minister’s health insurance scheme covers corneal blindness, retinal disease and glaucoma. But it is tough to complete the treatment with that amount. So, we adopt new technologies to provide quality treatment to patients at a cheaper rate,” said Salman.
On eye-donation, he said corneal transplantation was called eye-transplantation. As many as 50,000 patients were in queue for transplantation across the country. Though many people vowed to donate their eyes, it did not happen as after their death, their kin did not execute their wish.
Dr Devaki Senthilkumar, organising secretary of TNOA, said, “In spite of conducting awareness camps on cataract across Trichy district, and successfully performing cataract surgeries, still there is a backlog. People should realize the disease is curable with the latest technologies. They should come forward voluntarily for check-up in the hospital.”