The blind population in India is estimated to rise to 15 million by 2020. While diseases related to the cornea (front of the eye) are commonly known, diseases related to the retina (back of the eye) are not easily recognized. Retinal diseases account for a significant share of the vision loss burden, compared to other eye-related diseases that can cause blindness. Dr. Siddharth Ghosh, Ophthalmologist and Eye Surgeon, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the GD Hospital and Diabetes Institute at Kolkata discussed about such diseases and how early detection can help save people from blindness.
Of the various retinal disorders, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are two progressive diseases that cause loss of vision. AMD and DME can be effectively managed if patients are diagnosed in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to understand the underlying symptoms associated with the diseases to identify the disease at an early stage.
Some of the symptoms associated with the retinal diseases are impaired colour vision, difficulty seeing at a distance, experiencing dark spots in vision, distorted vision, decreased contrast or colour sensitivity and many others.
There are treatments available that can slow or halt disease progression. Some of the treatment options available in India include laser photocoagulation, anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) injections and combination therapy which include laser and anti-VEGF treatment.
Hence early detection will help in preventing such diseases and getting rid of blindness.
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