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New Age Technology Promises Better Vision for Cataract Patients

·         Over 62% of blindness in India is caused by cataract; patients suffer from inadequate vision after surgery.
·         In Kerala alone, 151,774 cataract surgeries were conducted 2016 to fight cataract.
·         Advanced extended range of vision technology in intraocular lenses is assisting doctors to provide better quality of vision.
Trivandrum, 21st Jan 2018: According to estimates, cataract accounts for over 62% of blindness in people older than 50 years in the country. The challenge is not small, but for the relentless efforts of authorities and the eye surgeons in the country, things are changing for the better. Data reported by the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) states that a total of 151,774 cataract surgeries were conducted in the state against the target of 136,120 surgeries.
Now with the burden of blindness decreasing, what factors ensure that the vision provided is satisfying to the patient? Herein lies the role of accessibility to the latest technological innovation. “For the common man, in the field of intraocular lenses (IOLs), a wide range of monofocal, multifocal, and extended range of vision (ERV) lens options exist. These lenses are implanted during cataract surgery to replace the natural lenses of eyes.” said Dr. Nair.

Since 1950, when IOLs were first introduced, the technology of lenses has evolved immensely. Monofocal lenses have been one of the most commonly used IOLs during cataract surgery for some time now; however, being monofocal, usually they are used for ensuring distance vision and glasses are prescribed for near vision.

“Multifocal IOLs albeit providing better near vision may come at the price of compromised vision quality, as chromatic aberration, halos and glares, and reduced night-time vision clarity are common complaints reported by patients with these lenses. With the help of latest IOL technology in the form of extended range of vision lenses, we are able to resolve these issues and offer patients better vision clarity post cataract surgery. The extended range of vision (ERV) IOLs most importantly reduce dependency on spectacles, correcting the chromatic aberration and enabling a better contrast and functioning. Also the continuous band of vision provides vision for all distances with seamless transition across day and night,” Dr. Nairexplained.

In the digital age, people, young and old, are accustomed to being glued to screens. Increasingly now, the drive to remain independent and live life to the fullest is intense in older age. Society is evolving as in Kerala a lot of families have children settled in the Middle East and the United States. The older family members want to stay connected with their children through mobile technology and social media and at the same time perform all necessary daily activities independently.
“The older patients ask for quicker rehabilitation as the son or daughter is visiting India briefly. Secondly they want to return to their normal life with a smaller incision and greater visual clarity. In the past, multifocal and monofocal lenses have been commonly used in India, but now people are increasingly opting for ERV IOL because of the kind of clarity of vision it offers,” said Dr. Nair

Cataract is generally considered an age-related eye ailment since the time of Sushruta, in which the once clear natural lens of the eye becomes milky. However, certain factors are known to influence the development of cataract earlier in life. Exposure to UV rays, blast furnaces, diabetes, smoking, obesity, malnutrition and eye injuries can lead to cataract. The need to return to active life post-surgery gets to be more urgent in this category of patients and the ERV IOLs are tailor made for this. Where earlier patients had to wait from 1 week to 10 days for normalcy, now they are able to resume their routine, the next day of surgery. With technological improvisation as in the ERV IOLs, cataract becomes but a small hitch in the road to growing old gracefully and with dignity.


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