Hyderabad eye hospitals report 80% drop in consultations due to Covid-19

Deccan Chronicle.  | Kaniza Garari

Science, Science

Ophthalmologists say people with eye ailments are staying home and trying out home remedies

Doctors say patients with diabetes and glaucoma must not neglect the need for regular consultations. (Representational image)

Hyderabad: With an 80% drop in patients at eye hospitals, ophthalmologists warn that any neglect in getting proper eye care could lead to further deterioration of their eyes. According to doctors, those suffering from diabetes, glaucoma and chronic eye conditions must not stop their regular consultations for fear of contracting Covid-19.

Diabetes patients and those suffering from glaucoma require regular consultations. Those with chronic conditions like uveitis and those advised medications by ophthalmologists need to visit as physical verification is important.

Dr Somasheila Murthy, head of cornea and anterior segment service at L V Prasad Eye Institute, explained, “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have divided patients into two groups: one that can be managed with teleconsultation and the other requiring a physical visit to the hospital. Those in the teleconsultation category have dry eyes, fatigue and discomfort due to prolonged use of digital media. The other category is patients suffering from a chronic medical condition and physical consultation is important to assess their situation.” 

Emergency sections in all eye hospitals in Hyderabad are working; yet patients are coming only in the last stages. Those who suffer from sudden loss of vision, continued redness of eyes, sensitivity to light and injuries are trying home remedies before approaching hospitals.

Dr Sreelakshmi Nimmagadda, managing director and cataract and refractive surgeon at Win Vision Eye Hospitals says, “Most people with an eye conditions are confused. It is with a lot of difficulty that they are approaching hospitals. It must be understood that issues related to retinal disorders in children and adults, glaucoma and others related with loss of vision are conditions which need care on time. These must not be taken lightly and patients must follow up with their doctors. Elective procedures like cataract surgeries are decided in advance and they are often advised to wait. But if they find that there is a problem, they must not hesitate to visit the eye hospital and seek treatment.”

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