World Sight Day: Pune ophthalmologist urges citizens to go through simple eye test to prevent vision impairment, blindness

Dr Samita Moolani Katara is a practising ophthalmologist at Moolani’s Eye Care Centre, MG road, Pune. She is passionate about health education, conducting school and rural eye screening camps and volunteering nationally and across the globe. On the occasion of World Sight Day (October 10), Dheeraj Bengrut spoke to her about the importance of the day celebrated all over the world on the second Thursday of October ever year. 

What is the significance of World Sight Day and how it is celebrated across the country? 

World Sight Day is celebrated every year by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year the call to action (theme) is vision first. Across the country, eye centres, NGOs and clinics will participate in eye health education campaigns and camps. 

What are some precautionary measures that one should take for safety of their vision? 

It is important to know that 75 per cent of all blindness and moderate to severe vision loss is avoidable. The best thing one can do for themselves and their family is to have an eye examination with a qualified ophthalmologist. A simple eye test will not only save your sight, but early diagnosis of any condition will help halt it and prevent you from developing blindness in the future. 

What are the things that affect our eyes in today’s world and how can we prevent the damage? 

Today, majority of the people’s daily activities are dependent on a digital screen in some shape or form. It is essential to limit screen usage for children and adults. There are more reported cases of digital eye strain, dryness of the eyes and tear gland problems. 

In diseases like diabetes, hypertension and arthritis, eyes also can be affected, leading to early to severe vision loss. It is important for patients with these systemic diseases to have a regular eye check up every 6-12 months. 

What is your message to the people? 

A simple eye test with a qualified ophthalmologist can save your sight. It is non-invasive and quick. All eye problems do not have to be symptomatic, you can be suffering from a blinding disorder like glaucoma and may not know about it, until it is too late. Routine testing can help early diagnosis and treatment of many eye disorders. A majority of the cases are cases of preventable blindness which can be detected through vigilance and taken care of.

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