Pune: Delayed Treatment Of Cataract, One Of Leading Factors For Blindness

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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, November 14, 2020: Delayed treatment of cataracts is the leading cause of blindness in India. It is estimated that more than 50,000 cataract surgeries were postponed across the country amid the lockdown due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This issue was also discussed in the first online conference organized by the Maharashtra Institute of Ophthalmology which was attended by 5000 ophthalmologists.

Several ophthalmologists have expressed their concerns as the cataract surgery rate has dropped by 30 percent in the early months of lockdown. “It has been observed that the Cataracts progress to an advanced stage due to delay in consultation for many patients. Patients with other eye-related ailments, such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, should also have regular eye tests. Do not delay eye examinations for fear of corona”, advised opthalmologist Dr Vardhman Kankaria, Asian Eye Institute and Laser Center, Pune.

Ophthalmologist Dr Madhav Bhat said, “Since March, about 30 to 40 percent cataract surgeries were postponed. About 70 percent of these surgeries are now being performed slowly. Cataract surgery was postponed because it was planned. Surgeries were not allowed in the lockdown. Even though permission has now been granted, fear persists among patients.”

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