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International

Dry eye disease to affect one in two urban Indians by 2030

28/03/2019
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Dry eye disease is set to affect more Indians than diabetes and heart attacks over the next decade, according to new research that predicts almost half of the nation’s urban population will suffer from the ocular disease.

After analysing the records of 1.45 million patients using the institute’s eyeSmart Electronic Medical Records system, Researchers from the Hyderabad-based LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) said their findings highlight an impending epidemic.

Based on current incidence rates, the study estimated 45% of India’s urban population is likely to suffer from dry eye disease by 2030, translating to approximately 275 million people.

Additionally, it is predicted 17 million new dry eye disease cases will emerge from rural parts of India every year, The New Indian Express reported.

The study highlighted several factors contributing dry eye prevalence, including residence, socio-economic affluence and professional work, such as computer-based occupations. According to the research, men in their 20s and 30s and women in their 40s and 50s were most vulnerable to the disease.

“Since India is an emerging economy with a growing middle-class, increasing urban-migration and a large aging population, the country is on the brink of a dry eye disease epidemic,” LVPEI Centre for Ocular Regeneration director Dr Sayan Basu said, who conducted the study with Dr Anthony Vipin Das.

“Dry eye disease not only affects the patient’s vision but also disturbs their quality of life, causing anxiety and depression, often affecting their professional productivity. However, if detected early and treated appropriately, patients can lead a normal life.”

Basu said dry eyes could be associated with other serious medical conditions such as arthritis, which, if neglected, could lead to irreversible visual impairment and blindness.

“Therefore, it is critical that people at risk get screened for the condition and seeks timely relief,” he added.

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