MAY 25, 2004.
By PRIYA YADAV
The Times of India,
TIMES NEWS NETWORK.
CHANDIGARH : Suffering from diabetes and afraid of losing eyesight? A new line of treatment developed by doctors at PGI has come to the rescue of diabetics across the globe, prone to leaking of retinal blood vessels, which ultimately leads to blindness.
A team of PGI doctors has been successful in achieving gratifying results to prevent blindness due to retinopathy. The new method, which has been successfully used in over 250 patients at the Institute, has been given worldwide acknowledgement by none other than American Academy of Opthalmologists (AAO), the most respected international body of ophthalmologists.
A paper written by PGI doctors, including Dr Amod Gupta, Dr Vaishali Gupta and Dr Anil Bansali, dwelling on the new method, has been published in the April issue of Academy Express, a monthly medical journal of AOO which is almost considered as ‘the Bible by ophthalmologists worldwide’.
As per World Health Organisation’s estimates, the present population of 19 million diabetics in India will triple in number to 57 million in the year 2025. About one third to one fourth of all diabetics, irrespective of the duration of diabetes, will have diabetic retinopathy, which leads to vision-threatening lesions like macular edema.
Leaking of retinal blood vessels in advanced or long-term diabetes affects the macula or retina and is referred as diabetic retinopathy, the number one cause of blindness among the 40 to 60 years working age group. The macula is a thin layer of nerve cells near the centre of retina, that lines inside of the eyeball, detect light and send signals to the brain.
Due to leaking of blood vessels, the vision gets blurred because of disturbance of macula. The leakage is sealed with the help of laser shots which not only plug the leakage, but also destroy new blood vessel growth.
Dr Amod Gupta, head of department of opthalmology, told The Times of India, ‘‘It was being seen that after laser shots were given, the blood vessels used to get plugged but lipids (fats) used to get deposited in the centre of macula which left the vision blurred along with black spots.’’
The breakthrough came when under the supervision of Dr Anil Bansali, head of department of medicine, PGI, the patient’s fat levels were first lowered and then laser shots given to plug the leakages.
The results then improved dramatically. Patients whose abnormal fat levels were treated, controlled and monitored, had no fat deposits, which provided clearer vision.
Dr Amod Gupta said now that the new method has been universally acknowledged by the revered AAO, it can benefit a large number of diabetic patients across the globe and prevent vision loss.
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