स्वास्थ्य विशेषज्ञों ने सोमवार को कहा कि पिछले दो वर्षों में कोविड-19 महामारी के दौरान 10 में से 9 लोगों की दृष्टि कुछ हद तक खो गई है। ऐसा इसलिए है, क्योंकि उनमें से अधिकांश ने महामारी के बाद लगने वाले लॉकडाउन के दौरान नियमित तौर पर कराई जाने वाली अपनी आंखों की जांच और इसके फॉलो-अप को छोड़ दिया है।
डायबिटिक रेटिनोपैथी या उम्र से संबंधित धब्बेदार अध: पतन (डिजेनरेशन) जैसे रेटिनल रोगों में शुरूआत में कुछ या मामूली लक्षण होते हैं और केवल आंखों की जांच या स्क्रीनिंग से ही पता लगाया जाता है। इन स्थितियों में समय पर देखभाल न करने पर आंखों को गंभीर नुकसान पहुंचाने की प्रवृत्ति होती है।
मुंबई रेटिना सेंटर के सीईओ विटेरियोरेटिनल सर्जन डॉ. अजय दुदानी ने आईएएनएस से कहा, दुर्भाग्य से, कोविड की पहली और दूसरी लहर के दौरान खराब फॉलो-अप के कारण 90 प्रतिशत रोगियों ने कुछ हद तक दृष्टि (देखने की क्षमता) खो दी है, विशेष रूप से एएमडी (एज रिलेटेड मैकुलर डिजनरेशन) से पीड़ित मरीजों में यह दिक्कत देखने को मिली है। ये मरीज ज्यादातर अपना इंट्राविट्रियल इंजेक्शन लेने से चूक गए, जिसके कारण बीमारियां तेजी से बढ़ीं हैं।
नारायणा नेत्रालय आई इंस्टीट्यूट, बेंगलुरु में सीनियर विटेरियो-रेटिनल कंसल्टेंट डॉ. चैत्र जयदेव ने कहा, कोविड के डर के कारण, हमने पिछले 3-4 महीनों में नियमित रूप से आंखों की जांच के लिए आने वाले रोगियों में गिरावट देखी है। इसके परिणामस्वरूप निदान और उपचार में देरी हुई है, जिससे लंबे समय में देखने की क्षमता प्रभावित हो सकती है।
डॉक्टरों ने कहा कि बीमारी को नियंत्रित करने और दृष्टिमें किसी भी तरह के नुकसान को रोकने के लिए शुरूआती पहचान और उपचार महत्वपूर्ण है।
क्लिनिक का दौरा जितना अधिक समय तक बंद रहेगा, आंखों की सेहत उतनी ही खराब होती जाएगी।
विटेरोरेटिनल सोसाइटी ऑफ इंडिया के महासचिव डॉ. राजा नारायण ने आईएएनएस को बताया, हमें इस कोविड लहर के दौरान सावधानी बरतनी चाहिए, मरीजों को मैकुलर डिजनरेशन या डायबिटिक मैकुलर एडिमा के विजिट में देरी नहीं करनी चाहिए, जब तक कि मरीज में कोविड के लक्षण न हों।
दुदानी ने आगे कहा, तीसरी लहर के साथ, हम अतीत के समान पैटर्न देख रहे हैं, क्योंकि रोगी की विजिट (अस्पताल में), विशेष रूप से बुजुर्गों के बीच, लगभग 50 प्रतिशत कम हो गई है। चूंकि रेटिना को बदला नहीं जा सकता है, इसलिए इंजेक्शन न लगना, या उपचार का पालन न करना, नेत्र रोग को बढ़ा सकता है।
डॉक्टरों ने रोगियों को टेलीकंसल्टेशन लेने के लिए भी प्रोत्साहित किया। ऐसे दृष्टि परीक्षण (आई टेस्टिंग) हैं, जिन्हें कोई भी व्यक्ति घर बैठे करा सकता है, जिनकी रिपोर्ट डॉक्टर को जांच और आगे के हस्तक्षेप के लिए भेजी जा सकती है।
जयदेव ने कहा, अगर रोगियों को धुंधली दृष्टि, दृष्टि की अचानक हानि या ²श्य क्षेत्र में काले धब्बे जैसे लक्षणों का अनुभव होता है, तो उन्हें तत्काल आंखों की जांच के लिए जाने की आवश्यकता होती है, क्योंकि ये डायबिटिक रेटिनोपैथी के लक्षण हो सकते हैं। इस तरह की जटिलताओं को और बिगड़ने से रोकने के लिए, मधुमेह रोगियों को यह सुनिश्चित करना चाहिए कि उनका शर्करा स्तर (शुगर लेवल) नियंत्रण में रहे।
यह भी पढ़े► बीएचयू में फेफड़े के गंभीर रोग पर अपनी तरह का पहला शोध
About 9 in 10 people have lost some degree of vision during the last two years of Covid pandemic, health experts said on Monday. It is because most of them skipped their regular eye check-ups and follow-ups due to pandemic-induced lockdowns, fear among others.
Retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration have few or minor symptoms at first and are only detected by eye examination or a screening. These conditions have the tendency to create severe damage to the eyes if not timely intervened with.
"Unfortunately, 90 per cent of patients lost some degree of vision due poor follow ups, during the first and the second wave of Covid, especially the ones suffering from wet AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration).
These patients mostly missed taking their Intravitreal injection, owing to which the diseases progressed rapidly," Dr Ajay Dudani, CEO Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Mumbai Retina Centre, told IANS.
"Owing to the fear of Covid, we have witnessed a decline in patients coming for a regular eye check-up in the past 3-4 months. This has resulted in delays in diagnosis and treatment, which can compromise vision in the long run," added Dr Chaitra Jayadev, Senior Vitreo-retinal Consultant, Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute, Bengaluru.
Doctors said that early detection and treatment is key to control the disease and prevent any loss in vision. The longer one puts off visiting the clinic, the worse the eye health will get.
"While we should take precautions during this Covid wave, patients should not delay visits for macular degeneration or diabetic macular edema, unless the patient has Covid symptoms," Dr Raja Narayan, the General Secretary, Vitreoretinal Society of India, told IANS.
"With the third wave, we are seeing a similar pattern from the past, as patient visits, especially amongst elders, have dropped by nearly 50 per cent. Since the retina cannot be replaced, missing an injection, or treatment follow ups, can magnify the eye disease," Dudani said. Doctors also encouraged patients to take up teleconsultations.
There are vision tests that one can undertake sitting at home, whose reports can be sent to the doctor for examination and further intervention.
"If patients experience symptoms such as blurred vision, sudden loss of vision or black spots in the visual field, they need to go for an immediate eye check-up, as these could be signs of diabetic retinopathy. To prevent worsening of such complications, diabetics must ensure that their sugar levels are under control," Jayadev said.
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A dry, itchy scalp is the most common cause of dandruff in the winter. A number of variables contribute to this, including dry, chilly air and a high prevalence of the Malassezia fungus. If you want to reduce and treat dandruff, you'll need to utilise the correct hair care products for the job. Dandruff is by far the most inconvenient and humiliating hair issue.
Dandruff can be caused by stress, a change in climate (severe heat or cold), an overabundance of fatty foods, a change in shampoo, excessive sweat, and even pollution. Dandruff flares up when Malassezia, a naturally occurring microorganism on the scalp, is worsened by any of these circumstances.
Dr Amrendra Kumar, Consultant Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Director of DermaClinix shares 10 tricks to drive away dandruff this winter are as follows-
Avoid Direct Heat: One of the most common causes of a flaky scalp is excessive heat. Wet hair can cause headaches and colds, which is why hair dryers are so popular in the winter. However, direct heat exposure, such as from ironing boards and hair dryers, dries the scalp. Instead, towel-dry your hair before allowing it to air dries.
Cut Down on Sugar: Sugar is bad for both your skin and your hair. It turns out that it's also bad for your hair! Excessive oily flakes are caused by high blood sugar levels, which increase dandruff in the winter. Reduce your sugar intake and replace it with honey or jaggery.
Drink More Water: We often forget to drink water during the winter, which dehydrates the skin and hair, causing more dandruff. The average daily water consumption limit is set at 5 litres, but if it's getting too cold, 4 litres will suffice!
Use Biotin and Zinc Supplements: Biotin is a hair vitamin that can be found in a variety of foods and is also available as a supplement in pharmacies and supermarkets. Biotin has been found to be "likely effective" in the treatment of biotin deficiency and to be safe when used in the recommended amounts. Deficiency can lead to dandruff. Rule out fungal infection, psoriasis if it is not responding to medicines.
Change Your Diet: Vitamin B, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids are all good for the hair and scalp. Fruits and raw salads should be part of your daily diet. These nutrients are abundant in eggs, fish, bananas, and spinach.
Brush Your Hair Often: It may aid in scalp stimulation and blood circulation. This will aid in the production of oils that keep the hair and scalp healthy.
Use a Cotton Towel: After you've washed your hair, wipe it dry with a cotton towel. Towels with a rough texture should be avoided because they can cause more frizz.
Visit a dermatologist: If your dandruff problem becomes out of hand; seek the advice of a reputable dermatologist. In these situations, an expert will be able to provide you with the best solution, so don't hesitate to seek advice.
Use shampoo containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulphide or 2% ketoconazole: Many anti-dandruff shampoos contains zinc pyrithione shampoo. It is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, which means it, can kill fungus, bacteria, and microorganisms that cause itchy, flaky scalp.
If you've tried these shampoos and other home remedies and still don't feel better, then consult a dermatologist. The contact period of shampoo should be a minimum of 5 minutes. These shampoos make the hair dry, so use conditioner as well.
Always Keep Your Hair and Scalp Clean: When going out in the sun, cover your head with a scarf, hat, or cap. Keeping your hair free of pollutants will aid in its growth. Sweating is normal, but excessive sweat can cause hair buildup. After you've exercised or had a particularly sweaty day, always dry your hair.
In females, oily scalps and severe dandruff may be signs of hormonal imbalance, so rule out that as well. Usually, dandruff does not happen in children, but if it happens, rule out lice infection or fungal infection.
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Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.
Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population.
While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the nerve of the eye. The increased pressure in the eye, which is known as intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve which is responsible for sending images to the brain. If the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years.
According to WHO, there are different kinds of glaucoma, though, the two most common are, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), having a slow and slow and asymptomatic onset, and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG), which is less common, yet more acute. Hence, it is important for everybody over the age of 40 years to have a regular eye check-up.
The eye disorder may be treated with the help of eye drops prescribed by Ophthalmologist. There are various options available to lower intraocular pressure to the desired level. Depending upon the need of the patient, doctor may recommend combinations of eye drops, but it is of utmost importance to use the drops on a regular basis.
However, consulting a specialist should be the first priority if diagnosed with glaucoma, but most of the population will first opt for home remedies then will consult chemists' shops for medicines and if the issue is still not resolved then will they think of a specialist. There is a need to modify the mindset of the people and when it comes to sensory organs zero negligence rule should be followed.
Awareness is the key to managing Glaucoma better. The need of the hour is to include eye care as part of the health check-up. Timely detection of Glaucoma will lead to proper medication and diagnosis by an Ophthalmologist.
Talking about prevention, early detection will help in managing glaucoma before significant damage occurs. Glaucoma can be because of genetics as well hence knowing the family's eye history is important. Regular and moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure also eye drops can significantly reduce the risk that high pressure will progress to glaucoma.
Also, there are few home remedies that anyone can follow to avoid glaucoma. Consuming healthy food, using eyewear, avoiding head-down position, keeping oral hygienic, and protecting eyes from sunlight are a few of such remedies. One should be mindful of the fact that Glaucoma is irreversible blindness and awareness can help us in fighting it.
Depending on the condition an Ophthalmologist may prescribe an oral medication or may suggest therapies. In severe conditions, doctors can also recommend surgeries like Laser therapy, Filtering surgery, Drainage tubes, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS).
Read More► Can Double Masking For Long Cause Breathing Problems?
While wearing double masks, which helps create a strong barrier against Covid-19 infection spread via airborne viral particles, has become the new normal, prolonged wearing of masks can develop hydration issues or other nagging breathing troubles, health experts said on Wednesday.
There has been enough evidence through the pandemic to show the importance of masks for effective pandemic control. At the start of the pandemic, it was seen that countries (primarily Asian nations) which enforced early masking had lesser mortality rates as compared to countries in the West where compulsory mask wearing was introduced quite late.
"Prolonged mask wearing can be associated with certain problems the most common being headaches, dehydration, acne and difficulty in breathing," Radhika Banka, Consultant Pulmonologist at P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mumbai, told IANS.
Breathing issues are "usually seen in mouth breathers and in people with underlying respiratory problems such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)", she added.
According to Ravi Shekhar Jha, Additional Director and HOD, Pulmonology, at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, wearing double mask for long hours can also lead to dryness.
"It is because natural humidification of nasal mucosa gets impaired," Jha said.
There are various masks available in the market, including cloth masks, surgical masks and respirators such as N-95s.
The cloth mask has the least protection and the US Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a disposable surgical mask along with a cloth mask for additional protection. For surgical masks, the knotted technique (that is knotting the ear loops to provide better fit and prevent leakage from the sides) is recommended.
But with full vaccination rolled out in most countries, are double masks still required?
"Even after double dose vaccination, people can get breakthrough infections and can still be asymptomatic carriers and spread the infection. Hence masking is important even after double vaccination," Banka said.
The health experts stated that for people living in India, double masks become more important as vaccination of children has not yet begun in the country, and asymptomatic transmission is the highest from children. Added to this is a high population density, where social distancing is not practically possible in many cases.
Most of the countries which have made masks voluntary are those in the West with low population density, where social distancing is feasible. These countries have managed to vaccinate more than 80 per cent of their population with two doses. Also, masks in these countries are still recommended in enclosed spaces, public transports, healthcare facilities etc.
"With only 48 per cent of our population being vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent being vaccinated with two doses, I do not think India can yet take the risk of removing the mandatory use of masks," Banka said.
However, according to Jha, "A single mask, if worn properly, is sufficient."
"People who wear double masks, have this tendency of adjusting their masks repeatedly due to breathing issues, and that way the whole purpose of wearing a mask is defeated," he said.
Jha added that for someone like a healthcare worker, who is in an area with high concentration of Covid viral droplets, an N-95 mask should be worn all the time. For other situations, a normal surgical mask (single) is sufficient.
"We need to ensure that masks are worn properly, with proper seal at nose. Improperly worn masks are more dangerous. It is also important to keep in mind that a mask alone may not protect. One needs to follow hand hygiene as well as maintain social distancing," Jha advised.
Although several countries have loosened mask restrictions citing vaccine efficacy, various studies and health experts have stressed on the need for continuing wearing masks, even after being fully vaccinated, including booster shots; and following other protective measures such as physical distancing and handwashing.
A recent study led by researchers from the Monash University and the University of Edinburgh analysed more than 30 studies from around the world and found a statistically significant 53 per cent reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing, and 25 per cent reduction with physical distancing. Handwashing also indicated a substantial 53 per cent reduction in Covid incidence.
Most people are able to wear masks fairly well for a few hours, but if your job requires you to wear masks for a prolonged period, it is essential to take adequate breaks to hydrate oneself and prevent any skin problems, Banka suggested. (Agency)
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With a whopping 77 million people in India living with diabetes, a simultaneous and sharp rise has been observed in the prevalence of diabetes-related preventable vision loss, particularly among the young people, say experts.
Diabetic retinopathy is a chronic, progressive retinal disease that is a leading cause of vision impairment in today's young adults, working population. It's of major concern among children suffering from juvenile diabetes (Type-1 diabetes) and especially if they have had diabetes for over 10 years.
It is estimated that approximately 1.1-crore people are suffering from retinal disorders in India and more alarmingly, about one in every three people living with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that affects eyes.
"With the growing incidence of diabetes, it has been estimated that diabetic retinopathy affects one in three people with diabetes and remains the leading cause of blindness in young working-aged adults," Dr Mahipal Sachdev, Medical Director and Chairman, Centre for Sight Group of Eye Hospital, told IANS.
"Approximately 7-10 per cent of young diabetics will go on to develop diabetic retinopathy, of which 2-4 per cent will have vision threatening sequelae if not taken proper treatment." added Dr. Aditya Sudhalkar, M.S. Ophthalmology, Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon.
The most common form of diabetic retinopathy is Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) which arises when the damaged blood vessels swell and flow into the macula of the retina causing visibility issues in the normal vision.
According to Dr. Chaitra Jayadev, senior vitreo-retinal consultant, Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute Karnataka, studies have shown that the prevalence of DME and diabetic retinopathy is higher and more severe in young diabetics with a longer duration of diabetes.
"Diabetes in the younger is a distinct pathological entity characterised by a more aggressive presentation and manifestation. An earlier onset of diabetes leads to a longer exposure to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. This gives rise to a greater propensity for developing long-term microvascular and macrovascular complications," Dr. Jayadev said.
Thus, screening for diabetes is of utmost importance, even if one is "young" and has no symptoms. It becomes more crucial if one has risk factors such as family history, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, or on long term steroid medications.
Dr. Sudhalkar said that in India, there is a general reluctance towards attending clinics and nearly 25 per cent of young patients with DME come late for diagnosis.
"It's important to know, only 11 per cent of diabetic retinopathy patients can actually reverse vision threatening sequelae once they set in. The rest continue to progress even with strict glycemic control," he noted.
"Retinopathy, unfortunately, is the most neglected complication of diabetes. We see so many patients come to OPD where eyes have not been checked for. So the screening, also known as Funduscopy, should be done at the time of diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes, in adults, and in children, five years after the onset of diabetes, and thereafter annually," Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, HOD, Endocrinology at Artemis, Gurugram, told IANS.
If diabetes occurs near puberty, then funduscopy should be checked for potential retinopathy.
"It is important because the condition poses no symptoms in the initial days. And once symptoms set in, such as bleeding in the eye, red vision, sudden loss of vision, it's too late," Kapoor said.
The doctors advised to adhere to the treatment and maintain a healthy lifestyle to effectively manage diabetes and to prevent the onset or progression of eye diseases.
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