Over 62% of blindness in India is caused by cataract. Over 6.7 lakh cataract surgeries conducted in Maharashtra alone in 2016–2017.
New age technologies such as extended range of -vision lenses boost India’s fight against cataract.
Cataract patients can now hope to have reduced dependence on spectacles and better quality of vision post-surgery.
How important is quality vision for a diamond merchant? A 53-year-old diamond merchant, Yogesh (name changed), had weak eyesight due to a developing cataract. He began to face serious issues in business in assessing the quality of diamonds, which resulted in some losses. Due to the habit of keeping a close check, he did not want to depend upon other individuals in checking and sorting the diamonds. Desperate for a treatment, he visited Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist and Founder, Kenia Eye Hospital, Mumbai. After due investigation, he was implanted extended range of vision lenses, and the same day, Rajesh returned home. The next day onward he was delighted to feel a remarkable difference in the quality of his vision with enhanced contrast sensitivity. He was again able to sort the diamonds easily.
With cataract accounting for over 62% of blindness in people older than 50 years in India, combating this preventable cause of vision loss is one of the biggest healthcare challenges for the country. However, with latest technological interventions and extended range of vision lenses, it is possible not only to restore vision but also reduce dependence on spectacles post cataract surgery.
According to estimates, India is home to over 80 lakh of the world’s 360 lakh blind people.
Fortunately, the drive to counter cataract-related blindness has reaped benefits over the years, and advancement of scientific technology and introduction of newer and better versions of intraocular lenses (IOLs) implants, which replace the natural eye lenses during cataract surgery, have given a boost to the fight against cataract-related blindness in the country.
Initiative by the Government and healthcare providers on a national level has led to cataract surgeries being performed in thousands. In Maharashtra alone, over 6.7 lakh cataract surgeries were conducted in 2016-2017.
Explaining the development of cataract surgical technology and various treatment options, Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist and Founder, Kenia Eye Hospital Mumbai says “In the early 20th century, cataract patients could only hope to have decent vision through very thick glasses post-surgery. But since 1950, with IOLs replacing the old, cataract lens, the quality of vision improved considerably post-surgery. Up till now, monofocal lenses were the most commonly used IOLs during cataract surgery. However, being monofocal, the lenses deliver improved vision for only one focal point.Usually, they are used for ensuring distance vision and glasses are prescribed for near vision. In comparison, multifocal IOLs provide better near vision; however, chromatic aberration, halos and glares, and reduced night-time vision clarity limit the quality of life post-implant. The latest IOL technology with extended depth-of-vision resolves and mitigates these issues. Compared with monofocal lenses, the extended range of vision IOLs provides high quality vision across a range from distance to about 26 inches away with seamless transition across day and night. The new IOLs also correct the chromatic aberration, enabling a better contrast and functioning. Also the continues band of vision, provides vision for all distances.
Cataract surgery is the most performed operation in patients older than 65 years. It is often believed that cataract should mature before it is removed; however, matured cataract is more difficult to treat and increases risks of complications. The surgery should be done early before cataract matures.
As eye care has always been about enhancing the quality of life of patients, newage technologies have dramatically helped restore better quality of life to patients.“It is important to realize just how important good vision is in the lives of older adults. Loss of sight is one of the things older people fear most. Many people in need of cataract surgery want to lead active lives, drive regularly, and use computers and mobile devices. Advanced extended range of vision lens technology not only improves sight, but also helps people maintain the most active healthy lifestyles possible. These IOLs also make it easier for patients to transition from day to night vision and it produces less of the halo or glare effect other lenses can cause. Additionally, it also reduces dependency on spectacles, with 90% chances of a patient living a life independent of glasses”, explained Dr. Vaishal Kenia.
Unnecessary apprehension and myths about cataract surgery should be countered by spreading awareness. Most cataracts develop when aging, due to uncontrolled diabetes or injury changes the tissue that makes up your eye’s lens. Inherited genetic disorders can increase the risk of cataracts. They can also be caused by other eye conditions, past eye surgery or medical conditions such as diabetes. Although cataracts cannot be prevented, they are relatively easy to cure. Cataract surgery is considerably a straightforward day care procedure, with vision being restored to patients within hours of surgery. The surgery today is possible to be done with just eyedrop anesthesia, with no eyepad or stitches. Patients return home andcan resume daily activities the same day. Post-surgery, careful post-operative care ensures a safe and speedy recovery.