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More than 50% of patients delay cataract surgeries in India: Survey

When it comes to cataract procedures, 73 percent have expressed concerns about losing their vision, going through a painful surgery, or needing a lengthy recuperation period.

June 28, 2022 / 04:27 PM IST
Representative image (Source: https://www.pexels.com/)

Representative image (Source: https://www.pexels.com/)

The most common cause of vision loss in the country is cataract, but it is treated with a straightforward operation that has a success record of over 98 percent. The research by National Eye Institute has indicated that 90 percent of patients who have cataract surgery recover vision that is clear.

A cataract also most frequently affects persons in the 40+ age range. Pristyn Care has released "The Great Indian Cataract Survey Report" in honour of Cataract Awareness Month, to raise awareness and advance comprehensive eye care. The Pristyn Care Data Lab reviewed data on cataract procedures performed up to this point and more than 1000+ respondents were surveyed throughout metro areas.

Over 50 percent of Indians are delaying cataract procedures, according to the report. The most typical misunderstandings about cataract surgery involve losing vision, uncomfortable treatments, or a long recovery period. 52 percent of Indians said that specialised, highly experienced doctors are the most important factor when deciding whether to get cataract surgery, followed by advanced technology (41 percent) and the location of the procedure (eye hospital or clinic). The cost and affordability of the procedure come in last, at 24 percent.

On the survey findings, Dr. Kripa Pulasaria, Ophthalmologist said, “While there can be multiple reasons for cataract delay, we at Pristyn Care believe that it is important to address patient concerns and spend time with them one-on-one. Patients who understand the treatment and benefits of advanced technology are generally not anxious while undergoing the surgery. Fears of pain, surgical complications, or losing eye-sight can be mitigated with appropriate preoperative education.”

7000+ cataract procedures and 1 lakh+ patient inquiries later, Pristyn Care's Data Lab found that 59 percent of cataract surgeries are performed on patients who are 56 years of age or older. Data analysis also shows an increase in younger people developing cataracts, a condition that is typically thought to affect the elderly. Long-term UV exposure, early onset of diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, and environmental factors like food adulteration and pollution are possible risk factors.

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Commenting on the findings, Dr Garima Sawhney, co-founder at Pristyn Care, said, “Cataract is the major cause of reversible blindness and visual impairment in the country. According to Pristyn Care’s Cataract survey report, we have observed that lack of access to information, treatment and accessibility are the main reasons for delay among Indians. Cataract surgeries are the most common and frequently performed as compared to other elective procedures. We are committed to introducing advanced treatments for better and quick recovery. We also spoke to the patients who have undergone cataract surgeries and 83 percent agreed that their pre-surgery inhibitions were unfounded. In fact, 97 percent of patients would also recommend cataract surgeries to others.”
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