In a cataract, the vision of the eyes become blurry due to the opacification of the lens. A cataract is a second major cause of visual impairment and preventable blindness. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures to improve vision and prevent blindness across the world.
Average monthly cataract surgeries performed in India are over 5 lakhs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sudden cancellation in surgical procedures has created significant backlogs in cataract surgery.
It is necessary to understand how the coronavirus can infect you. A virus can infect you in two ways. One way is by inhaling the aerosols produced during coughing or sneezing by an infected person. Another way of spreading the virus is when a person touches the nose, eyes or mouth with infected hands. Wearing masks, avoiding touching the face and practising hand hygiene can lower the risk of contracting COVID-19.
In cataract surgery, there is no or minimal aerosol production. The patient’s face is covered with a sterile drape during the surgery. Further, the surgeons take all the precautions as per the surgical protocol of COVID-19, such as wearing personal protective equipment. The surgery takes around 10-15 minutes, and thus, the exposure time to acquire infection is low. Hence, the risk of getting infected through the covid 19 viruses is less during surgery.
A cataract is a progressive condition that means the clouding of your lens will increase over time. The surgery depends on the functional level of the lens. Unless the vision of the patients gets severely compromised, delaying surgery has no increment in risk. Your doctor will evaluate the condition of your lens in context with your risk that may occur due to your daily activities such as driving, reading and cooking.
The doctor will keep an eye on your complete vision examination and decide how much a surgeon can restore the vision by removing the cataract. In some cases, delaying the cataract may result in permanent blindness. Take the advice of an expert ophthalmologist in your area.
People can delay cataract surgery by wearing sunglasses to prevent eyes from ultraviolet rays. The patient should stop smoking and start consuming green vegetables, fruits and food that have antioxidant properties. A person should have controlled diabetes and Blood pressure. A regular eye examination can also help to avoid surgery during the covid 19 pandemics.
You should always follow the COVID-19 precautionary measures, i.e., at the doctor’s clinic and before and after the cataract surgery. You may also have the option for telemedicine to consult with your doctor.
The patient should fix an appointment for a consultation to reduce the time for waiting. He should wear a mask and gloves to prevent physical contact to any surface in the clinic. The patient should use digital payment modes to avoid unnecessary physical contact. He should avoid talking to other patients. Reduce the baggage to the clinic prevents exposure to the infected surface. The patient should maintain social distancing while seated in the clinic. After surgery, the patient can consult with a professional through telemedicine to reduce the chance of getting infected.
The patient should wear a mask before entering the diagnostic room. He should use a hand sanitiser provided by the hospital. Its use is compulsory for both patient and health care worker. Only one patient should allow along with an attendee into the diagnostic room. Cleaning of all instruments in the diagnostic area is necessary before the surgery. The patient is advised not to touch any surface of the premises.
Telemedicine is an excellent option to maintain social distancing and seeking advice from an ophthalmologist. It results in decreasing physical contact and reduces cross-infection among patients and health care personnel. It reduces unnecessary gatherings and reduces the risk of infection.
Cataract surgery is elective surgery. However, sometimes, the prolonged, untreated cataract may result in compromised vision. Cataract surgery, if done will all the COVID-19 safety protocols, is safe, and there are very minimal chances of spreading infection. Patients should consult over the phone with the ophthalmologist, whenever possible, to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Patient after cataract surgery should avoid contact with other people and minimize travel.
Mumbai Eye Care is a premium Multispecialty eyc clinic located at Ghatkopar (East) Mumbai and Ghatkopar (West) Mumbai. Our eye specialist and ophthalmic technicians care for patients of all ages from Mumbai City and surrounding areas. Call +91-8451045935 for more information about LASIK Surgery, Cataract Surgery, Cornea Transplant Surgery, Retina Surgery, Glaucoma Treatment and more other eye treatments.
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