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Blindness due to Cataract in India

Blindness due to cataract presents an enormous problem in India not only in terms of human morbidity but also in terms of economic loss and social burden. The WHO/NPCB (National Programme for Control of Blindness) survey has shown that there is a backlog of over 22 million blind eyes (12 million blind people) in India, and 80.1% of these are blind due to cataract. The annual incidence of cataract blindness is about 3.8 million. The present annual level of performance is in the order of about 1.6-1.9 million cataract operations. To clear the backlog of cataract cases by the year 2000 and to tackle the rising incidence, 5-6 million cataract operations annually will have to be performed as against the present rate of 1.7 million per year. India is undertaking a new long-term initiative to expand the capability of cataract surgery and service levels with financial assistance from the World Bank. An important feature of this initiative is the attention given to spread the cataract blindness programme in rural and tribal areas. The second feature is the emphasis placed on modern extracapsular cataract extraction with intra-ocular lens implantation as the preferred surgical technique. Another noteworthy feature is developing institutional capacity and appropriate co-ordination mechanisms for collaboration between the non-government organization and the public sector to expand coverage to the most disadvantaged populations. The fourth and the most important strategy is to carry out intensive campaigns at the state and national levels against cataract blindness in order to substantially increase the demand for cataract services. A country like India has more significance for such a plan in view of the fact that various social, economic and environmental factors contribute to cataract blindness in populations at a much younger age.
Mon, 9 Nov 2009
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  User's Response
Can cataracts be prevented? Cataracts that occur due to the aging process cannot be prevented as the aging process itself cannot be prevented. Using the eyes for reading and similar activities have nothing to do with cataract formation. Avoiding the use of eyes will not prevent cataract. Till date as per all authentic medical research, no medication exists to prevent or cure a cataract. The only known treatment for cataract is surgery. How are cataracts diagnosed? The doctor will check the vision and examine the lens for any signs of cataract. If the patient is having a significant visual handicap, the surgeon will advise surgery. In that case, a painless ultrasound test is done to measure the length of the eye and determine the power of replacement lens to be implanted during surgery. What is the treatment? Early cataracts, if they lead to near-sightedness, may be managed by prescribing stronger eyeglasses or contact lenses. No medical treatment can prevent or reverse the development of catara
  User's Response
Blindness is the loss of vision, not correctable with lenses. Blindness may be partial, with loss of only part of the vision. It may also be complete, in which case there is no perception of light. People with vision worse than 20/200 (a person with 20/200 eyesight can clearly distinguish an object at 20 feet that a person with normal vision can clearly distinguish at 200 feet) or a field of vision of less than 20 degrees in the better eye are considered legally blind Blindness has many causes. Worldwide, the leading causes of blindness are cataracts, trachoma, leprosy, and vitamin A deficiency. The other causes are diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and accidents (such as chemical burns or injuries from cords, fishing hooks, fireworks, racket balls, and similar objects).
  User's Response

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