Cataract is witnessing a steep rise in Jammu and Kashmir as figures suggest that thousands of surgeries have been performed in various hospitals in just a few months.

Ophthalmologists said  that COVID-19 pandemic delayed treatment for cataract in J-K.

“As a result, there was a backlog in the number of persons who need to be treated for the condition due to which the number of such patients have increased this year,” they said. “Sedentary lifestyles during the pandemic, uncontrolled diabetes, blood pressure and other chronic health conditions resulted in a rise in cases.”

The doctors said that there is no need to panic if one is diagnosed, as most of the patients feel worried a lot. “With increase in age, the possibilities of developing cataract also gets stronger, they said.

Notably, cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. “Cataracts often develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry or double vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble while driving, reading, or recognizing faces. Poor vision caused by cataracts may also result in an increased risk of falling and depression. Cataracts cause 51% of all cases of blindness and 33 per cent of visual impairment worldwide,” the doctors said.

Meanwhile, details available  reveals that over 6,000 cataract surgeries were conducted in Jammu hospitals in the last 10 months alone.

Details reveal that 374 cataract surgeries were conducted in Doda from April 2022 to January 2023, 428 in Akhnoor, 2307 in GMC Jammu, 34 in Aacharya hospital Sidra Jammu, 702 at Gandhi Nagar hospital, 49 at Sarwal hospital Jammu, 203 in Kuthua, 443 in Kishtwar, 1040 in Rajouri, 39 in Ramban, 572 in Samba and 121 in Udhampur.

Notably GMC Jammu and GMC Rajouri are on top in performing cataract surgeries under National Control and Prevention of Blindness in Province Jammu.

Moreover, as per details available 2207 spectacles were distributed among children and 2,475 among near work to old elderly in Jammu division in the last 10 month.

Pertinently National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in the year 1976 as a 100% Centrally Sponsored scheme with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3%.