14 October 2010
By Anoop Jaipurkar
Vision impairment can be corrected if one takes early preventive steps. Three persons either suffered visual impairment and regained their eye sight, or nearly went blind talk about how they got back from the brink.
Sight Lost And Found
Kaushalya Sathe’s case is a glaring example of lack of health facilities in rural areas. The only daughter of a farmer couple from Akluj, Kaushalya was studying in the second year when she woke up with red, swollen eyes one day. "I could not see anything. I cried and when I went to the doctors, they told me that I would not be able to see anymore."
She came to the Pune School for the Blind in Kothrud. "The teachers gave me hope that I can do well even with my loss of sight. I enrolled for the four–year vocational training and learned to make handicrafts."
One day her principal Sulabha Pujari told her to undergo a surgery to get back her vision. "I was scared that this attempt may also fail. But my principal spoke to me and I underwent the surgery. Now, I can see with one eye and will soon undergo surgery for the other one. My doctor Saleem Pathan gave me back my sight," he said.
Kaushalya wants to go back to college and take up a job. "I have got another shot at life. Working with a good private company is my dream," she said.
Lee was diagnosed with glaucoma with over 50 per cent damage to the optic nerves. The doctors suggested immediate surgery. "My right eye operated upon last Thursday and my doctors are confident that the vision will soon be restored.
Now, I tell people never to take their eyes for granted. Regular check–ups, sufficient sleep and good eyecare are necessary. Most importantly, avoid hypertension as it puts pressure on your eyes."
Vision At 69
His parents took him to several doctors, but there was no proper diagnosis. "Some opthalmologists were not willing to take the risk while others advised me to accept my condition. In 2006, Dr Seema Jagdale suggested I undergo a corneal transplant. At 69, I was not keen on a surgery, but I relented and the operation was done for free. The next day, I could see well with my left eye," he said.
Thakkar said he felt young. "Life has got a new meaning for me. I urge people to donate their eyes. Your cornea could mean the world to someone." He also urged those with eye ailments to opt for early diagnosis.