People experiencing blurred vision or decreased colour sensitivity need to get their eyes checked as these seemingly minor problems may actually indicate retinal diseases that account for a significant share of the vision loss burden in the world, experts have warned.
Retinal diseases often get underdiagnosed as people feel no pain when symptoms start showing up and the other eye often compensates for the poor eye, experts from the All India Opthalmological Society (AIOS) said at a workshop on retinal disease here.
Among the various retinal disorders, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are the major types that account for about 8.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent of blindness in the world respectively.
“The common symptoms of retinal disorders like AMD include blurred or distorted vision, dark spots in central vision or straight lines appearing wavy,” said Rajvardhan Azad, President of the All India Collegium of Ophthalmology, a fellowship programme of AIOS.
“These diseases often go underdiagnosed as they get noticed only when profound loss of eye sight occurs or the patient closes one eye. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the symptoms and seek expert advice as early diagnosis can help prevent loss of vision,” Azad, who is also an eye specialist at Bharti Eye Hospital in New Delhi, said.
Early detection of AMD and DME increases the possibility of preventing vision loss, and according to Azad, treatment becomes difficult for those who have completely lost their sight.
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.
People with diabetes should be especially alert as they are more prone to develop diabetic retinopathy, Azad said.