This is designed to awaken the level of awareness among Nigerians, regarding retinal disorders and diseases.
According to Zennat Shah, consultant Vitreo Retina Services at Skipper Eye–Q Super Speciality Eye Hospital, most people complain of eye pain, double vision, decrease of vision, redness of eye but do not know what is going on inside of the eye. Many a time, they are given glasses and yet not corrected.
“Eating right is simple and best solution to protect the vision. Avoid too much carbohydrate especially those suffering from diabetes; it increases the progression of the disease. Nigeria has lots of local fruits available that are good for the eye, such as: pawpaw, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, mangoes and avocado, the general thing is we should eat a balanced diet along with vegetables, the smaller fishes,” Shah said.
In a survey, the National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey (NBVIS) estimated that 1.13 million individuals aged 40 years and above in Nigeria were blind, with 2.7 million adults aged 40 years and above having moderate visual impairment and an additional 400,000 adults visually impaired.
The ophthalmologist specialists added that “Retina disorder cases are very critical as common people need more awareness on the eye diseases, the main motive for consciousness is to alert people to consult their specialist well in time as there are few diseases that are difficult to treat.
She explained that retina is the innermost coating of the eye. This consists of light-sensitive nerve cells and fibres that are connected with the brain through the optic nerve. The pressure of the vitreous gel helps in holding the retina in place within the eye.
“The vision impairment becomes more common as people age; the risk is higher in people suffering from chronic disease like diabetes. Retina disorders could be as a result of diabetic retinopathy. Cataract, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma are some of the causes of vision loss or complete blindness,” Shah said.
Shah attributed that the main problem with Nigerian is help seeking behaviours rather than seeing an ophthalmologist until it becomes a major problem. “There are some cases that seeking for care early helps in determining the prognosis. Some Nigerians does not even know the job of an ophthalmologist. Help seeking behaviour is one of the major challenges in Nigeria”.