As Covid wreaked havoc throughout the world, working professionals and students moved to remote work and learning which resulted in increased dependence on various screens, leading to several eye problems. Proper nutrition for the eye is, thus, imperative, said health experts on Tuesday.
The most common eye problems reported by children and working people during the pandemic include eye fatigue, dry and irritated eyes, fuzzy vision, and nearsightedness. This is further exacerbated by low physical activity, irregular eating habits, frequent snacking, and poor food quality during the pandemic.
"Every day, we encounter twenty to thirty patients who come to us complaining of eye discomfort. However, correct nutrition can offer the necessary support for ocular function, protect the eye from damaging light, and prevent age-related degenerative illnesses," Dr Vineet Sehgal, Senior Consultant at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, said.
Further, Covid-19, which is majorly a respiratory disease and is known to affect lungs, also causes modest to severe eye problems.
Some patients may develop conjunctivitis, irritated eyes, light sensitivity, and eye discomfort, which may last longer than two weeks.
"People who have a severe Covid-19 infection are at a high risk of having ocular abnormalities like vascular occlusion," Sehgal said.
Long-term use of steroids also increases the risk of mucormycosis -- a severe consequence occurring in Covid patients, particularly those who are diabetic or immune-compromised. Infection of the nose and sinuses that spread to the orbit can cause vision loss or even death, if not treated promptly.
Long Covid also affects the eyes with people reporting the most frequent symptom -- conjunctivitis.
"Conjunctivitis can be treated with medicine, but, in certain cases, the retina and retinal vessels are damaged, resulting in long-term visual loss. This blockage of retinal veins not only causes substantial vision loss, but also takes a long time to heal," Sehgal said.
Including a diet rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables which give vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can improve eye health.
"Consuming minerals, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamins C, E, and zinc, have been associated with a decreased risk of serious eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration," Nabanita Saha, Chief Clinical Dietician, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, said.
"The nutritional needs for eye health are complicated, but some nutrients, such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, and nuts are very crucial. Physical exercise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, has been found to help prevent eye diseases," she added.
In addition, if any patient, recovering from Covid, experiences symptoms like stuffiness in the nose, swelling around the eyes or nose, blurry vision, double vision, or pain around eyes/nose, they should immediately see an eye doctor, experts suggested.
New York, Aug 14 (IANS) A team of researchers has revealed that new biomarkers found in the eyes could unlock the key to helping manage diabetic retinopathy and perhaps even diabetes.The researchers said that during its early stages, diabetes can affect the eyes before the changes are detectable with a regular clinical examination.However, new retinal research has found that these changes can be measured earlier than previously thought with specialised optical techniques and computer analysis."Early detection of retinal damage from diabetes is possible to obtain with painless methods and might help identify undiagnosed patients early enough to diminish the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes," said researcher Ann E. Elsner from the Indiana University.The ability to detect biomarkers for this sight-threatening condition may lead to the early identification of people at risk for diabetes or a visual impairment, as well as improve physicians' ability to manage these patients.The new study is part of the current widespread emphasis on the detection of diabetic retinopathy through AI applied to retinal images. However, some of these algorithms provide detection based on features that occur much later than the changes found in this study.The IU-led method advances earlier detection because of the retinal image processing algorithms described in the study.For the study, published in the journal PLOS One, the team conducted the retinal image analysis in a lab. They used data collected from volunteers with diabetes, along with healthy control subjects.AAdditional data were also collected from a diabetic retinopathy screening of members of the underserved community.The computer analysis was performed on retinal image data commonly collected in well-equipped clinics, but much of the information used in this study is often ignored for diagnosis or management of patients.--IANSvc/arm
Istanbul, July 27 (IANS) Nerve fibre loss and an increase in key immune (dendritic) cells on the surface of the eye -- cornea -- may help identify patients with 'long Covid', according to a small study.These changes were particularly evident among those with neurological symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell, headache, dizziness, numbness, and neuropathic pain, following Covid-19 infection, said researchers from the Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Medical Faculty Hospital in Konya, Turkey.The cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers the pupil, iris, and the fluid-filled interior. Its main function is to focus most of the light entering the eye.Around one in 10 of all those infected with Covid-19 infection will develop long Covid. The findings, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, suggested corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) -- a real time, non-invasive, high-resolution imaging laser technique -- to identify long Covid symptoms correlated strongly with corneal nerve fibre loss.CCM has been used to identify nerve damage and inflammatory changes attributable to diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia (all over body pain)."We show that patients with long Covid have evidence of small nerve fibre damage which relates to the severity of long Covid and neuropathic as well as musculoskeletal symptoms," said Gulfidan Bitirgen, from the Hospital's Department of Ophthalmology. The team scanned corneas of 40 people who had recovered from confirmed Covid-19 infection between one and six months using CCM.The corneal scans were compared with those of 30 healthy people who hadn't had Covid-19 infection.The corneal scans revealed that patients with neurological symptoms four weeks after they had recovered from acute Covid-19 had greater corneal nerve fibre damage and loss, with higher numbers of dendritic cells, than those who hadn't had Covid-19 infection.Those without neurological symptoms had comparable numbers of corneal nerve fibres as those who hadn't been infected with Covid-19, but higher numbers of dendritic cells.However, this is an observational study, and as such, can't establish cause, the researchers said. "Corneal confocal microscopy may have clinical utility as a rapid objective ophthalmic test to evaluate patients with long Covid," Bitirgen said.--IANSrvt/rs
Chennai, July 24 (IANS) The number of cases of dry eyes and digital eye strain has gone up during the pandemic period, said a top official of Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital.
The cases of digital eye strain and dry eyes seen a significant rise as a result of excessive exposure to light-emitting digital screens as people adapted to work-from-home and study-from-home scenarios, said Dr. Amar Agarwal, Chairman.
According to him, the cases of matured cataracts surged from 10 per cent of the total cataract cases in the last quarter of 2019 to over 50 per cent during the same period in 2020.
Citing an internal study conducted in 2020, he said that the delay in seeking medical interventions during the first wave of the pandemic -- due to lockdown restrictions or fear of infection risks, had severely deteriorated the eye conditions of many patients.
Hence, without ignoring any eye issue, patients should seek medical intervention at the earliest.
Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital, one of India's largest networks of eyecare centers, has launched Dr. Agarwal's Eye Connect, a free online consultation platform, making its specialists available for advice on eye conditions, second opinion, and follow-ups for patients across the country. The free consultation will be available till August 15, 2021.
For those who are reluctant to go to a hospital for eye checkup, Dr.Agarwal's Eye Hospital has launched free online consultation service.
Patients can call (9167376973) or visit www.dragarwal.com to book an online consultation with specialists. For online consultation, there is no need to download any app. A computer or mobile phone with a good internet connection and camera is sufficient, he said.
It is important for the patients and the public to take extra care of their vision health and seek medical intervention without delay, as COVID-19 and the lifestyle changes - especially the increase in screen time, during the lockdown could harm eye health.
The Covid-19 infection may lead to the onset of eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, uveitis, artery and vein occlusions, and optic neuritis, Agarwal said.
New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Around 20 per cent people in the 18-44 age group have been vaccinated against Covid so far, Delhi's ruling AAP said on Monday.Vaccination for this segment was started on May 1, but stopped earlier at government-run centres due to the vaccine stock getting exhausted. "Vaccination for youth was open for a limited time, but despite all that, Delhi has vaccinated around 20 per cent of youth," party MLA Atishi said, presenting the Delhi government's vaccine bulletin.She also announced that vaccination drives for this group at government-run centres will be halted from Tuesday due to shortage of vaccines again."From tomorrow, more than half of the centres where Covishield was being given as the first dose, will be closed down... two days stock is available for a second dose of Covaxin. "It is our appeal to the Central government, that the youth of Delhi want to get vaccinated and for this, the pending vaccines should be made available to Delhi," Atishi added.For the 45 and above age groups, Delhi has 11 days stock of Covaxin and 24 days of Covishield, she added.So far, 60.88 lakh people have been vaccinated in Delhi, out of which 46.45 lakh people have got the first and 14.42 lakh people have got both the doses.--IANSpd/vd
Thiruvananthapuram, May 12 (IANS) Matching the theme for the 2021 International Nurses Day which is -- Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare, perfectly fits the bill for 35-year-old Kerala male nurse P.M. Arun Kumar as he can be called the poor man's Thomas Alva Edison on account of the various things he has made for safe handling of the Covid pandemic, and for health care professionals.Kumar after eight years of serving at the Pondicherry JIPMER hospital, got into the Kerala Health Service and from 2018 he is serving as Nursing Officer at the Idukki Medical College hospital and by now he has to his credit four 'inventions' which have made life easy for the hardworking medical professionals at the hospital. Kumar told IANS that with the hospital operating on a shoe string government funding and little funds available at their free disposal to get state of the art safety equipment, he on his own with the financial support of doctors at the hospital and other staff by now, has made four inventions. "Collection of swabs daily means they needed at least 8 PPE kits and when it became tough as PPE kits was more in need for their colleagues at the wards, he put on his thinking cap and with a funding of Rs 7,000 collected from doctors he made a swab collection room where the doctors in normal dress stand inside the hospital room and the patient stands outside a window. Through this the collector of the swab need not wear a PPE kit and he can operate his foot pump which sprays the sanitizer into the gloves after the swab is collected. Then there is hair drier which has been modified and placed outside and after each sample is collected the gloves which are left outside are sanitised and dried and the next sample is collected," said Kumar. The drier which is available in the open market costs Rs 8,500 and upwards, but for Kumar it costs just Rs 1,500. He said washing of hands by the medical professionals also had become a problem with the test positivity rate at the hospital started to climb and is hovering above 20 per cent. "Since the hospital is located in the old block, most of the water taps are old and given the present pandemic situation, it's not safe to open the taps and hence I have converted all these taps into an elbow tap made out of SS steel bars. A regular elbow tap in the market costs Rs 1,000, while I spend Rs 60 for each to convert these into elbow taps," added Arun. Arun's invention doesn't end as the most recent problems faced by his hospital is the various vaccines which are kept in ice boxes and when the ice packs melt the temperature goes up and if not timely replaced with a fresh ice pack, the efficacy of the vaccines gets poor. "So what I did is I have made a digital vaccine box and from anywhere in the room we can see the inside temperature and the moment it increases, anyone can put a fresh ice pack. Before one had to open and see the ice pack and every time the box is opened, it isn't good and now only once you need to open the box. All it cost me was Rs 500," added Arun, whose wife is also a staff nurse working in a nearby state run hospital and gives all the support for his inventions. Yet another and the most latest invention came last week when he designed a viral transport medium tray made out of composite aluminium panels and it's used to transport the samples of RT-PCR, which hitherto was packed in zip lock bags. "It costs me Rs 1,500 and we have a few trays and here also the money for this came from a staff. If not for the encouragement of the team of our doctors working here, I would not have made all these and today, we are getting numerous calls from people who have known what we have done. Due to lack of time, I tell them the way these are to be made and when I have time, I do make it for them at cost price," added Arun. --IANS sg/skp/