Strides in Ophthalmology

Strides in Ophthalmology Strides in Ophthalmology

Iran is among the top ranking countries in cataract treatment with around 6,000 surgeries per million per annum based on statistics provided by the Health Ministry.

The data is the result of a retrospective survey conducted by the Health Ministry to study the rate of surgeries between 2005 and 2010 as well as ophthalmological services across the country.

The survey showed that the rate of surgeries per million had risen from between 2,500 and 3,000 in 2005 to 6,000 in 2010, a growth in proportion with the aging population, reports IRNA.

The average life expectancy in Iran is over 75 years, so the high prevalence of cataract, which is the leading cause of blindness in the world, comes as no surprise. The relatively low cost of the surgery in the country ensures that every patient with cataract will be treated.  

The rate of cataract surgery in each country is a qualitative index of development in the field of ophthalmology. The minimum rate that the World Health Organization has defined is over 3,000 cataract surgeries per million per year to make sure that all affected individuals are provided treatment services. Vision 2020: the Right to Sight is the joint program of the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) for elimination of avoidable blindness.

Cataract is commonly due to aging. Therefore with the increase in life expectancy, more cataract surgeries are inevitable. In other words, the higher the rate of cataract surgery, the more developed a country in the field of ophthalmology.    

Cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes and often develops slowly. Symptoms include faded colors, blurry vision, halo around light and trouble with bright lights and night vision. This may result in difficulty in driving, reading or recognizing faces.

Half of blindness and 33% of visual impairment worldwide is due to the disease. Cataract may also occur due to trauma, radiation exposure, be present from birth, or following eye surgery for other problems.