Advances in cataract surgery: New Age Solutions for Cataract Provide Better Vision
Published on: 2018/06/03
Padma Shri Dr. Mahipal Sachdev, Ophthalmologist and Chairman, Centre for Sight, Delhi, India
Over 80 Lakh people suffering from blindness in India, and 62% of the disease burden is shared by cataract. For combating cataract, doctors advocate awareness for available options of restoring sight with the quality of vision post-surgery.
Cataract, ophthalmology, advances in cataract
When proteins in the eye form a dense, cloudy area in the lens inhibiting the lens from sending signals to the retina, a cataract is said to be formed. Cataract has been found to develop slowly which then interferes with the vision.
Patients may develop with cataracts in both the eyes, but they rarely form at the same time. Cataract interferes with everyday activities like reading, watching television, driving, and working.
Cataract in India
The global total for cataract is 39 million of which India has the highest proportion of 12 million. Around 23 million people suffer from cataract in India.
Advances in cataract surgery and intraocular lenses
Technological advancements have led to a lot of advancement in cataract surgery in the last few years. This has helped create a safer and efficient environment for cataract surgeries. Today cataract surgery requires lesser recovery period due to the innovations in intraocular lens material that facilitated surgery to be carried out through a smaller incision and more predictable refractive results.
Most of the patients do not require glasses post surgery due to the new intraocular lens design technology. These developments have led to the paradigm shift of cataract surgery being just a visual rehabilitation to a better refractive procedure.
Future of cataract
AIIMs estimated that 63% of the visual impairment in India is caused due to cataract. There is an alarming shortage of ophthalmologic surgeons in India. With 10 million people in need of cataract surgery in India, the doctor-patient ratio of 1:1674 is extremely poor.
The recent advances in cataract surgery are all technology driven. Surgeons today have a robot to assist them with complex eye operations. Axis, a new surgical robot which was developed in 2016, was designed to perform cataract surgery. It helps the surgeon from making avoidable errors during surgery.
Researchers in the US have been able to create a robot that can independently operate on soft and live tissue with the precision of highly skilled surgeons. Autonomous robotics will prove to be the future of cataract surgery. This will help reduce the costs of medical procedures and make treatments and surgeries affordable. It will also help in solving the problem of shortage of surgeons in this field.
Over the last few years, it has been noticed that the average age of patients undergoing cataract surgery has reduced, which is an encouraging sign.