Eye ailments that were once impossible to treat can now be cured, thanks to technology.

Live demonstrations of eye surgeries at a symposium held recently, showed how inner eye bleeding, caused either by diabetes or a hole in the retina, could be treated using high-end equipment.

The three surgeries were demonstrated at ‘Reticon’, a vitreoretinal symposium organised by Dr. Agarwal’s Retina Foundation on Sunday.

“There have been huge technological advances in ophthalmology of late. Today, with high-end technology, we can fix a hole in the retina caused by aging or trauma, a feat that would have been impossible a few decades ago,” said Amar Agarwal, chairman and managing director of Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals.

Apart from the demonstrations, the symposium also focussed on the need for regular eye check-ups, especially for those with hypertension or diabetes.

“Diabetes, hypertension and renal diseases all affect the retina resulting in decreased vision. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in the eyes to burst. This leads to the eyes filling up with blood and preventing light from entering. To treat this, it is essential that we diagnose the condition early, which makes regular eye check-ups very important,” Dr. Agarwal said.

He added, “A procedure called vitrectomy is used to remove the blood, and the bleeding vessels are then sealed through laser technology.”

In another surgery, doctors demonstrated the placing of a glued intraocular lens in the eye of a patient whose lens had been displaced.

The lens in the eye can be displaced either due to congenital factors, or sometimes after a cataract surgery.

Nearly 12 million people in India are blind, and with the population growing, this figure could be 18 million by 2020, said J. Radhakrishnan, secretary, health department.

“Cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness, with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy being other major causes,” he added.

About Tamil Nadu’s performance with regard to blindness control, he said 6.25 lakh cataract surgeries were being performed every year.

“When it comes to eye care, TN hospitals draw several patients from across the country and abroad. The State is also a leader in eye donations,” he said.

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