Chennai December 2017: Mrs Vasuki Kannappan has been enthralling the entire nation with her captivating tales and scholarly articles in Tamil. She has marked her academic and literary journey with humbling success. For a writer, ideas are evergreen and they demand to be written. But when Mrs Kannappan wanted to pursue her academic and literary pursuits even after turning 70 years-old, she was diagnosed with cataract in both her eyes.
However, she didn’t let age be a hindrance to her passion for words. Given the emergent technological innovations in the field of cataract, she found a solution that didn’t even require her to wear spectacles.
Elaborating her case further, Dr. Mohan Rajan, Chairman & Managing Director of Rajan Eye Care, Chennai, says, “When Mrs Kannappan was diagnosed with cataract, she was apprehensive of finding a solution that could provide her seamless vision. She wished to return to her old self post-surgery, and demanded spectacle free vision. Monofocal lens implants were opted out, and instead the extended range of vision lens was chosen as it provides good vision for distance, intermediate and near, without the loss of quality of vision as seen with other multifocal intraocular lens (IOLs). These lenses do not need a precise centration, which is a critical issue with other multifocal IOLs. After the implantation of extended range of vision IOLs, Mrs Kannappan was pleasantly surprised to witness crystal clear vision and soon returned to her demanding field of work and research.”
Blindness is a major healthcare concern in India with over 80 Lakh people affected by it. Most of them, around 62%, are suffering vision loss due to cataract. While cataract cannot be prevented, it is treatable through IOLs, which are used to replace the natural eye lenses. Most importantly, blindness due to cataract can be prevented. One of the safest surgeries in the world, cataract operation enjoys a high success rate, above 90% at most places in the world. The important factor to focus upon is the expected outcome and quality of vision after the surgery.
With the growing desires of leading an independent, active life, vision loss due to cataract at any age comes as a big impediment to hopes of people. However, with modern advancement in IOLs, patients have many alternatives.
Elaborating on the quality of available treatment options, Dr. Mohan Rajan reflects “The quality of vision after surgery determines the quality of life the patient is going to experience. Of many alternatives, with monofocal IOLs, spectacles become a necessity and transition between near and distance vision is not smooth. Although multifocal lenses are better in correcting the shortcomings of monofocals, but they too display chromatic aberration, halos and glare, and unclear night vision. Addressing these concerns, the new extended range-of-vision lenses give impeccable clarity and contrast of vision, and reduce dependency on spectacles. The night vision through these lenses is uninterrupted, with reduced incidence of halos or glares.”
Cataract was conventionally considered as an age-related disease but today it is not restricted to older population now. Factors like diabetes, long-term use of steroid medicines, prolonged exposure to indoor pollution and even ultraviolet rays can lead to cataract at young and old people alike. It is also important for patients to undergo cataract surgery as early as possible, and not let the cataract mature. Today, cataract surgery is considerably a straight-forward day care procedure. Vision is restored to patients within hours of surgery. Patients return home and can resume daily activities the same day with some precautions and careful postoperative care ensures a safe and speedy recovery.