Awareness is the key to slow down cases of Blindness in India
By: Dr Mahipal S Sachdev
To slow down the rapid increase in the number of cases of Blindness in India, Awareness on the grass root level is the key. In India, due to the significant urban-rural divide, lack of awareness is one of the leading causes for rise in such cases.
Awareness of methods of prevention and regular eye checkups on the grass root level can help in decline in cases of Blindness in India. Adapting to healthier lifestyle choices will not only help in the decline of vision loss cases but promote a better quality of life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 1 billion people in the world with some sort of vision impairment that affects their daily quality of life. Rising incidences of visual impairment and blindness is one of the major health concerns worldwide and in India.
Various technological advancements in the field of ophthalmology are being made to provide the best form of treatment in order to curb down the cases of blindness in India. India contributes to about 22% of the total blindness cases globally with 11% of them being visually impaired, making it a highly alarming ailment which needs to be tackled at the earliest.
Although various efforts are being made to slow down the cases of blindness in India, the burden of the same is yet to come down. India sees around 2 million new cases annually which presents a burden to the economical and social state of the overall development of our Nation. These steps need to be taken timely because cases of preventable blindness will not only double by 2025, but can also become an epidemic.
With preventative measures like regular eye checkups, maintaining one’s blood sugar levels, eating right and maintaining a healthy body weight alongside wearing protective glasses (if required), one can prevent any sort of vision ailment.
Cataract, Refraction Error and Glaucoma are three of the biggest leading causes of blindness or vision impairment in India. Most of the affected patients are above the age of 50, who face vision impairment or blindness due to unoperated cataract and uncorrected refractive error. Many people ignore signs of blindness or eye-related ailments due to lack of awareness.
Lasik Surgery is done to completely treat vision ailments, some people don’t want to wear glasses, hence Lasik Surgery or Laser Eye Surgery helps treat nearsightedness, farsightedness as well as astigmatism, so the patient’s can see clearly without being dependent on glasses or contact lenses.
There is an urgent need to make people aware of the number of eye related ailments they are exposed to at the grass root level. With reduction in the cost of technology, Doctors mutually cooperate to impart training on the latest machines and cater to the vast rural population of India. Training the ophthalmologists and technicians in the peripheral hospitals is also required to embrace this technology.
Awareness to prevent ophthalmic disorders will not only lead to less number cases related to eye ailments. The advancement in technology will lead to faster recovery, saving man days and putting the afflicted back to his job early, but it also helps increase the number of sight restoring procedures that can be performed in the given time.
The writer is CMD, Centre for Sight group of Eye Hospitals