Thursday, 10 September 2015

Dry eye disease at menopause

Like several other menopausal women, Mrs Pithani Bhavani, 50, preferred hormonal treatment as she feared surgical removal of her uterus. The hormonal treatment alleviated her symptoms for 2 years but also triggered severe dryness in her eyes, causing discomfort, sensitivity to daylight and tears not forming even when she cried. For over 6 years, she lived in fear of losing her vision, not knowing that her hormonal treatment was the cause of her problem. A chance eye examination by an eye doctor who was treating her mother-in-law led to her being diagnosed with 'Dry Eye'.

She visited LVPEI Hyderabad in 2008 where Dr Muralidhar Ramappa gave her reassurance, along with treatment.


Dr Ramappa is appreciative of her discipline in taking her medication that has resulted in alleviation of her problem in just a year. Six years on, Bhavani has many reasons to be happy; she has become a grandmother in the interim, can go out in the sun, and can even shed tears! She is grateful to Dr Ramappa whom she refers to as mahanubhava (great or noble person).

70% vision restored, along with confidence

Yousuf Darwish from Oman was an accident investigation supervisor at a government company that made buses. When he lost his vision due to retinal detachment, the hospitals in Oman told him nothing could be done. He travelled to LVPEI in India and consulted Dr Vivek Dave who recommended surgery. Mr Darwish put his “complete faith in the omniscient Khidmat and His Own Representative, Dr Dave.” Three months on now, he reports 70% of his earlier vision restored, graciously extends good wishes to the staff and team of doctors, and is eager for the surgery to his other eye too. He gratefully recalls how the Institute's translator Mr Maqsud had communicated with the patient's brother and daughter on WhatsApp to reassure them of Mr Darwish's wellbeing.

Nilukshi can now keep her eyes open

Nilukshi Shamika Karunathilaka, 13, from Kiriwandala village, Sri Lanka, in 2011 developed dry eyes and sensitivity to light as a side effect to a drug she had taken for a body infection. A local doctor diagnosed Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS); there was no improvement despite a surgery. She dropped out of school; her father was compelled to forego his daily wages as a labourer to stay home and look after Nilukshi. He could ill afford the expensive eye drops required to induce artificial tears in his daughter’s dry and suffering eyes. Shamalka Perera, a fellow Sri Lankan, came forward to help them. She connected with Dr Virender Sangwan who assured free treatment for Nilukshi at LVPEI Hyderabad. 

Shamalka raised funds for the family’s travel and stay. In July, Dr Bhupesh Bagga successfully performed Mucous Membrane Grafting in the lower eyelids of both Nilukshi’s eyes and the upper eyelid of her left eye. As further treatment, the Contact Lens Department prescribed PROSE (Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem), Boston Scleral Lens. The major challenge throughout the treatment was the language barrier, as the family spoke only Sinhala. Shamalka would help interpret the several phone calls and emails from the LVPEI team. In the end, all the efforts have been worth it. Nilukshi’s vision has improved significantly and she can now keep her eyes open. The order for the lenses has already been placed and will be couriered to Sri Lanka, along with the instruction video and cleaning solution.