Dr. Balakrishna Shetty, the brain behind Devi Eye Hospital in Koramangala, has this story to tell. A 28-year old Software Engineer who once came to him saying that we wasn't seeing well in one eye. "This person's problem probably existed from childhood and he never realized it till recently," says Dr. Shetty. Some backtracking of this person's family history revealed that almost all had undergone refraction error correction and all wore glasses from a fairly young age. In this case, perhaps no eye checks were performed in the early stages or the condition was simply ignored. "Fortunately, we were able to do some refraction error correction and though his power was high, at least it didn't lead to other complications," adds Dr. Shetty.
Dr. Shetty makes no bones in stating the fact that people (and that includes even the highly educated) don't seem to give eye care its due importance. Eye care for a child should start early. "Age 3 - 7 years is a very crucial period," he explains. The child may be unaware that a problem exists or that one eye can't see too well. Only a thorough eye check-up can detect this. If this is missed out, then later the child's power can become very high. "In Myopic (short sight) children, the power can change very fast. All the more reason why parents should make a regular eye check-up every six months for their child mandatory," advises Dr. Shetty.
Imagine Life Without Vision...
Your eye is approximately 1 inch wide, 1 inch deep and 0.9 inch tall. It doesn't matter if it's blue in color, black, chestnut brown or cat's eye green. The fact is it's an extremely delicate, sensitive and an important sensory organ and yet we fail to take better care.
Eye care isn't just about short sight (myopia), long sight (hypermetropia), or being able to read Snellen's Eye Chart with fluency and ending up with a fancy and expensive pair of spectacles. In case you didn't know, there's a 'bazaar' out there in eye disorders. And we're not talking here of cricket ball eye injuries or fire cracker accidents, which, by the way have increased too, despite all sorts of warnings. Clearly, parents are to take the blame here for not instilling amongst children the harm fire crackers can do to their delicate eyes.
||Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery with Foldable Intra Ocular Lens|
||Zyoptix Lasik Laser|
||Surgery for Retinal and Vitreo Retinal disorders|
||Operation for Squint|
||Diode Laser for Diabetic Retinopathy and other disorders|
||Contact Lens Clinic|
||Refraction and Computer-assisted Eye Testing|
||25 bed in-patient facility|
|Devi Eye Hospital|
No. 434, 18th Main Road,
80 Feet Road,
Opposite Koramangala Bus Depot,
Bangalore - 560 095
Phone: 25535514, 25630563
It's amazing how we react to things the way we do. The child has a headache, take him to the doctor. The wife has a pain, let's go to the Gynaec. Somebody is breathless, rush to the hospital for an ECG. But if someone has an Eye Stye, then lean on Grandma's myths. Grandma says that a 'hot pack' will reduce the swelling; and so it is done. Grandma says that headaches happen because we watch too much TV; so shut that idiot box. Grandma says that the reason you can't see well is because you don't eat enough carrots. So, dinner is carrot stew.
Why is it that we still hang on to such ancient myths and not seek professional eye care? What is particularly worrying is that with so many eye disorders and diseases floating around such as Diabetes, Cataract, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, perhaps there isn't enough of awareness?
Not according to Dr. Shetty. In his opinion, awareness has increased over the years, thanks to the media, the Internet and so on. But then, the percentage is pretty small. The problem isn't so much in the cities and bigger towns; it's in the rural areas where things are pretty bad. Many organizations and NGOs conducted eye camps but just not enough. Besides, most places lack basic facilities to enable any sort of preventive eye care. And literally adding insult to injury is the fact that most doctors do not want to practice in villages for various reasons.
"Blindness can be prevented if treated early, but there aren't any specialists available in those places. So, by the time a person comes to us with a problem, sometimes it's a little too late," mentions Dr. Shetty.