Tech-Savvy Guwahati Centre Offering Yeoman Service in Eye Care
The miracle of vision is one of the greatest gifts the human race could have asked for. Even though the eyes are so precious to humans, we do not know much about the mysterious organ. The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year. It can differentiate approximately 10 million different colours. Each individual eye contains 107 million cells and all are light sensitive. Despite all these interesting factors, we still ignore this complex yet interesting organ.
There are 1.5 million blind children worldwide, out of which 1 million are in Asia, 0.3 million in Africa and 0.1 million in the rest of the world, according to a WHO report.
Eye care is one of the most ignored health problems. When you’re suffering from a cough and cold, you instantly visit a doctor. But when it comes to the eyes, then the symptoms are often ignored and thereby, taken for granted. Unless there are very severe symptoms, we tend to put off the visit to the eye doctor.
There are several types of eye diseases. A few of the common eye diseases are cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment among a few others. Dr SU Ahmed, Director, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon at The Retina Centre, Guwahati talked about these common eye diseases and their treatments.
A brief history of The Retina Centre
Dr SU Ahmed, a partner at Guwahati Eye Institute, Guwahati, completed his MBBS from Silchar Medical College (Under Gauhati University) in 1981. He then pursued his MS from Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, GMCH, Guwahati in 1993 and later underwent a Vitreo-Retinal fellowship from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai from 1993-94. He has been trained internationally at Singapore National Eye Centre and at Frankfurt, Germany with Prof Eckardt for Submacular Surgery.
He has performed around 10,000 Vitreo-Retinal surgeries and more than 1,00,000 retinal laser and other procedures during the last 25 years. “I have done several complicated surgeries and several lakhs of laser treatments. All the cases that I have handled are complicated,” Dr Ahmed told G Plus.
“To perform specialised treatments we need to be well equipped. We have retinal angiography, optical coherence tomography which is a special machine which is required to measure the thickness of the retina and analyse the nerve etc,” said Dr Ahmed.
Dr Ahmed was a doctor in the Indian Army before opening up a hospital cum clinic in Bhangagarh in Guwahati where he treated patients for 15 years. After leaving the army he served as a senior consultant at Sankardeva Nethralaya till 2003. He then opened up a centre at Rukminigaon in January 2019. “I opened this centre with the concept to do much more specialised work in retinal diseases surgery, particularly which was required for the north eastern region,” said Dr Ahmed.
Since their numbers of patients are increasing, they are expanding their area and will soon be occupying two floors of the building. “We are gradually expanding starting from retina vitreous, cataract and glaucoma. We have specialists in our centre and since this place is getting smaller so we are expanding,” he added.
Eye care in cities and rural areas
One does not pay much heed when something goes wrong with their eyes. This is what leads to major eye problems later in their lives. Talking about the same, Dr Ahmed said, “When I started my retina practice in Sankardeva Nethralaya, people were not aware of retinal diseases but these days people specifically come for retinal checkups.”
“People are well educated about eye diseases in metro cities and cities but in rural areas they still lack eye care education so they need to be addressed. We are planning to set up camps in such areas within this year.”
Eye care in government sectors and private sectors
Dr Ahmed then went on to highlight a major problem in government colleges and hospitals. He said, “Problem in government colleges and hospitals is that in this sector when anything goes wrong with a machine, repairing it requires a lot of paper work and takes forever. In private sector, everything is quick. Whoever is in charge can immediately fix the machine when it stops functioning.”
When asked about people and their fear for eye surgeries he said that technology has improved now and it does not take much time like it did earlier. “Earlier the entire procedure would take around 4-5 days but today one can just walk in, get the surgery done and walk out. For cataract surgery it hardly takes 10-15 minutes,” said Dr Ahmed.
Diabetic Eye Diseases in India: A Synopsis
Doctors at The Retina Centre told G Plus about the prevalence of diabetic mellitus in India. Sharing the figures, they said, “Diabetes mellitus now affects 65 million adults in India, which is likely to increase to over 130 million by 2045. Vision impairment and blindness from diabetic retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) will increase unless systems and services are put in place to reduce the incidence of DR and DME, and to increase access to diagnosis and effective treatment.”
They also mentioned that in India, sight-threatening DR (STDR) affects 5%–7% of people with diabetes, i.e., 3–4.5 million. This will increase as the number of people with diabetes increases and they live longer. The main risk factors for DR and DME are increasing duration of disease and poor control of hyperglycemia and hypertension.
The Retina Centre, 6th Floor, Rukminigaon, GS Road, Guwahati - 781022 (Above Trends).
Contact: 9821 465 665