62% of blindness in the country is due to Cataract

62% of blindness in the country is due to Cataract
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Story Dated : December 26, 2017

Vrijesh Desai, a professional photographer, got shock of his life recently when he was diagnosed with cataract. At the age of 40, his professional life and livelihood depended on his eyesight.

“Vrijesh was seriously worried about his future due to the developing cataract. When the available treatment options including different types of intraocular lenses such as traditional monofocal and multifocal as well as the latest extended range intraocular lenses were explained to him, he opted for the last option,” said Dr Girish Jethwa, a distinguished ophthalmologist at Jethwa Eye Hospital.

“After being implanted with the extended range-of-vision lenses, he returned home the same day. This type of lens makes 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. Soon after the surgery, did he realize that his quality of vision had improved drastically,” he said.

According to Jethwa, cataract has been a major cause for blindness worldwide and in India it accounts for almost 62 % of the disease burden.

“The burden of the disease is set to increase in near future and the country should take a serious note of it,” said Jethwa, adding that he has witnessed around 5,000 cases of cataract in the past three years alone.

“Projections show that among those aged 50 plus years, the quantum of cataract surgery would double, 3.38 million in 2001 to 7.63 million in 2020, and cataract surgical rate would increase from 24,025 per million for aged 50 years and above in 2001 to 27,817 per million in 2020. Although the prevalence of cataract blindness would decrease, the absolute number of cataract blind would increase from 7.75 million in 2001 to 8.25 million in 2020 due to a substantial increase in the population above 50 years in India over this period,” he said.