Karachi, Pakistan, October 14, 2010: Vision problems can be avoided or readily treated through regular check-ups said experts on World Sight Day, October 14, at a seminar at the Aga Khan University Hospital. Raising awareness and educating people about issues which can lead to vision impairment is key to helping every person have a ‘Right to Sight’, the theme of this year’s Day.
They pointed out that over four-fifths of people whose eyesight is affected live in low- and middle-income countries, including Pakistan. Yet the World Health Organization has said that 80 per cent of blindness in adults and 85 per cent of moderate and severe visual impairment is preventable or treatable. Age-related cataract is the leading cause of blindness but cataract surgery is one of the safest, most common and cost-effective surgical procedures according to Dr Shaukat Chhipa. It is a simple surgical procedure that together with eye glasses can make a radical difference to a person’s vision.
Another common cause of vision loss among people over 60 is macular degeneration, with people with diabetes needing to be especially careful. Dr Azam Ali mentioned how, today, with modern treatment options and surgical techniques, degeneration can be controlled if not cured. This is also true of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. It can be treated through medication said Dr Mahnaz Shah.
Detailed lectures were also delivered by Dr Sharmeen Akram on red eye and Dr Rashid Baig on ocular trauma or eye injury.