Experts have advocated the significance of regular eye health checkup on the occasion of World Sight Day celebrated every year on October 14.
According to them, the pandemic has had a severe impact on provision of eye care facilities across the country which further led to an increase in the number of cases causing eye problems like dry eyes syndrome, myopia, and other such eye conditions following the prolonged screen time.
The pandemic has emphasized the significance of including eye healthcare as a core part of overall healthcare.
Talking about the significance of eyecare, Dr. Sudhank Bharati, Bharti Eye Foundation & Hospital, New Delhi said, “While the pandemic pushed healthcare priorities, it is time to turn our attention to our eye health. The pandemic has led to a sharp rise in screen time, owing to virtual meetings or education, work from home (WFH), video conference etc. as all this has taken a toll on our eye health. We have observed an increasing number of cases with eye conditions like sore eyes, dry eyes, syndrome among others. Many people still avoid eye check-ups and instead opt for home remedies which are not enough. Medical intervention is a must if the situation persists. This World Sight Day everyone should take a pledge to take care of their eyes and encourage their friends and family to go for an eye check-up done and continue to do so at regular intervals.”
Experts revealed that during these times most people overlooked their eye check-ups and increased cases of eye conditions were witnessed like dry eyes, short sightedness, glaucoma and sore eyes among others in the post pandemic phase.
Echoing similar views, Dr. Nikhil Gokhale, Ophthalmologist, Gokhale Eye Hospital and Cornea specialist, Mumbai commented, “If we keep ignoring our eye health and delay treatment, then repercussions could be dangerous and serious, especially in eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma which causes permanent vision loss. We are also observing patients with mature cataracts due to delays in surgery. This is important for children too, due to online education and digital device usage. World Sight Day is a perfect medium to raise awareness about taking care of one’s eye health. It is equally important to create awareness in rural areas where understanding is minimal. Also, given the fact that they do not have access to developed infrastructure for regular health checkups, such facilities are a must in these regions. Our eyes are precious, so it’s high time that we take this seriously and take a pledge to get sight tests done.”
With a huge burden of 88% of avoidable blindness in our country, it means there is a lot for us to achieve and do, cautions Dr Sirish Nelivigi, Director, Nelivigi Eye Hospital, Bangalore further adding that loss of eyesight constitutes one of the biggest challenges confronting not only the patient, but also the burden that gets carried over to the family, the society and the nation at large.
“Each of us as individuals have our moral duty to reduce this burden and thereby help uplifting our own family and society. We can all contribute towards this in small but significant ways. Let’s start by getting regular, annual eye checkups done and then similarly, encourage our families to do the same. This, when extrapolated at a larger level, translates into miracles by way of a better, more productive and safer family and nation. On this World Sight Day, let us pledge to take up the message and commitment of regular eye checkups for all those above 4 years of age,” Dr Nelivigi concluded.