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3 Major Advances in Ophthalmology That Doctors Should Know

  • Highlights

  • Opthalmology: A growing market

  • Phacoemulsification technique for treating cataract

  • OCT angiography for retinal disorders

  • Glaucoma treatment through MIGS

Expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8%, the Indian ophthalmic market is expected to reach USD 1.8 billion by 2022. Of late, the world of ophthalmology has witnessed several major advances aimed at improving the quality of life of patients. Know these 3 major advances taking place in the ophthalmic world and stay ahead of the curve.

1. Cataract surgery with phacoemulsification

Cataract accounts for 63% of vision impairment in India. The country is home to nearly 30% of the world’s blind population, half of which is due to cataracts. While in some places, surgeons conduct small incision cataract surgeries (SICS), today cataract surgery has been made faster and safer through phacoemulsification.
A modern technique where the eye’s cloudy lens is broken and removed with an ultrasonic device followed by the insertion of an artificial lens, the Government of India is planning to conduct all cataract surgeries in the country with phaco.

Smaller incisions, faster recovery, and early visual rehabilitation are the major benefits of phacoemulsification. The cost of a phaco machine is upwards of Rs.12 lakh per unit, the funds for which can be easily procured through a specialised business loan for doctors which provides you pre-approved offers so that you get funds without the wait time.

2. Emergence of OCT angiography to diagnose and manage retinal diseases

Retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), artery and retinal vein occlusions need early detection and management. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography provides a 3D imaging of the retina, eye’s anterior segment, and optic nerve head thereby aiding in effective detection and management of these diseases. OCT angiography holds several advantages over fluorescein angiography (FFA).

Using motion contrast, the device produces images in 10-15 seconds, it can scan the other eye in the same sitting, unlike FFA which take 10-15 minutes to produce images. Also, the latter can’t scan the other eye in the same sitting. Depending on the model, the cost of a high-quality OCT angiography machine can go as high as Rs.40 lakh which can be met by a special loan against property for doctors.

How doctors can take their practice to the next level

3. Treatment of glaucoma through MIGS

Glaucoma, known as the silent thief of vision, is another major cause of blindness in India. Early detection is crucial for its prevention. The disease occurs due to increase in fluid pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve.

While eye drops are usually the first mode of treatment for the disease, many patients find drops to be inefficient in battling the disease. Today, apart from eye drops, SLT and ALT laser treatment, surgeons are using minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) for treatment of glaucoma.

In this, a tiny device allowing fluid to drain from the eye is implanted. This device reduces the eye pressure. Some of the MIGS devices are iStent, CyPass and X Gel Stent.

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