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 recognised. Retinal diseases account for a significant share of the vision loss burden, compared to other eye-related diseases that can cause blindness.
Of the various retinal disorders, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are two progressive diseases that causes 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.
Timely diagnosis & Treatment Protocol
Dr. Raja Narayanan, Hon. Secretary of VRSI & Head of Clinical Research, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, “Patients need to be alert in recognizing early signs and symptoms of retinal diseases. Most often, the symptoms of AMD are confused with old age. Diabetics are advised to visit an ophthalmologist/retinologist every six months, as they are at a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Early detection of AMD and DME increases the possibility of preventing vision loss..”
Today, 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 includes laser and anti-VEGF treatment.