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Vitreo Retinal: A Group of Eye Disease that affects the Retina

Vitreo Retinal: A Group of Eye Disease that affects the Retina

Dr. Vatsal S. Parikh is a Vitreo Retinal Surgeon of repute. There is an interesting background to this. He developed a passion to become Retinal Surgeon as his father had Retinal Detachment in 1969 when he was in 7th standard, and he had undergone 10 eye operations. Thus, an early family exposure to the trials and tribulations of Retinal Detachment reinforced his decision to join the medical fraternity as a Vitreo Retinal Eye Surgeon.
  • He has done fellowship at the renowned Sankara Netralaya (Chennai) in Retina Vitreous in 1988.
  • His paper on bimanual vitrectomy for advanced diabetic retinopathy was selected as the best paper at all India ophthalmic society’s annual conference at Bhopal in 2006. He has also won the first prize in an essay competition at the All India Ophthalmic Conference, Ahmedabad in 1989.
  • He was awarded the Vocational Excellence Award by Rotary Club of South Bombay in 2010.
  • He has ISO 9001-2000 certified, fully equipped and computerized establishment for Vitreo Retinal work at prime location “Opera House”, Mumbai.
  • He served as Secretary of Bombay Ophthalmologists’ Association (BOA).
  • He is an active international member of American Academy of Ophthalmologist (AAO) and attending Annual Academy meet every year since many years.

INTERVIEW:

How many years have you been working as a Retina specialist? What made you choose this career?

I have been practicing as retina specialist for 32 years. My father had undergone 10 eye operations in both eyes since 1968 to 1985, majority related to retinal detachment, so I had decided to become retina specialist

What are the various advanced tools and equipment to diagnose retinal problems?

To diagnose retina problems, it is important to start with patients’ complaints, systemic history taking, checking visual acuity and slit lamp examination including bio microscopy and examining retina with binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy for both eyes. With these routine examination for all patients, retina problem can be detected and diagnosed in more than 90% of times. These days routine examination is incomplete without the test of OCT (Optical coherence tomography). Additional tests like ultrasonography, wide angle fundus fluorescein angiography, ICG angiography, oct angiography electro retinogram, can be done in some patients to confirm diagnosis and monitor the treatment.

Our readers would want to know about your past achievements and the challenges you’ve faced along the journey?

I would not say any personal achievement because I strongly believe we treat, He cures. But would certainly feel that God has blessed us to make lots of patients improve in vision and be comfortable in life. I value this achievement the most. The challenges: The retina treatment is in general more difficult and unpredictable, so we face challenges every day, but God has been kind and we are able to understand the disease process and plan the treatment accordingly in more than 90% of the patients.

How many lectures have you conducted till date? How was the experience showing up and teaching to such huge numbers?

I wouldn’t have count of no. of lectures but may be between 800 to 1000 to eye surgeons, retina specialists, general physicians and lay people. The experience is very good. First of all, when I give lecture my knowledge increases. We have computerised records of all patients for last 25 years, so whenever I give lecture it contains all actual patients’ details (without disclosing their identity), so audience can understand the lecture in detail, it doesn’t become theoretical.

What does vitreoretinal mean?

Vitreoretinal means relating to diseases of vitreous and retina. Retina is in the back part of an eye and is like a film in the camera or sensor in a digital camera. It is the most important part of the eye.

What causes wrinkled retina? How can it be treated?

Wrinkling in retina is similar to wrinkles in cloth, it is due to something from vitreous pulling on retina or stiffening of retina due to scarring in retina. If it causes discomfort in vision, then surgery is the only treatment.

What is Scar tissue? What causes it?

Scar tissue, anywhere in the body is an abnormal tissue which occurs as a result of injury, inflammation or disease of the retina which causes loss of function in the eye i.e. Vision loss and it can cause detachment of the retina. Treatment of the scar tissue which is pulling on the retina is vitrectomy operation.

What does Myopia mean? How is it impacting our population?

Myopia means short sightedness. It means that affected person cannot see far away clearly depending on his number, but can see clearly nearby objects. It is a very common issue starting from childhood till age of 50 or so, it is prevalent due to constant use of eyes on mobile, laptop, computers, it has today become a life style disease. In the current pandemic of corona people are indoors and use their eyes tremendously more. Children should be encouraged for outdoor sports and less computer time and we should also restrict mobile use by avoiding unnecessary screen usage on social networking platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and twitter etc.

Are there any symptoms to be known for our readers about any retinal errors?

Symptoms related to retina are unique and mandate detailed retina check-up, Patients see flashes of light, floaters in front of eye, seeing distorted vision, sudden blurring of vision or seeing curtain in front of eyes. Patients with diabetes should have retina check-up done on a yearly basis.

What would you suggest is safe to wear in the situational viruses like COVID-19, Eyeglasses or Contact lenses? WHY?

Wearing contact lens or glasses during such uncertain times makes no difference. You have to take utmost care of your lenses well.

What eating habits people should adapt to, for better vision?

Any food rich in antioxidants like green leafy vegetables, almonds, olives, nuts are important to be added in your diet to prevent the ageing changes. Healthy lifestyle will help you to control diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol which is also good for one’s body overall.

Dr. Vatsal, can you tell us about your interests, hobbies apart from being a Top Retina Specialist?

Apart from reading about retina and Ophthalmology. I enjoy spending time with myself. I love to practice my religion. I have been learning Sanskrit and have also done a 3 years course on Vallabh vedant from Bombay University. Being a Vaishnav by caste, reading bhagwat gita is one of my hobby. I strongly believe that we need to go beyond our present and live meaningful life which may be much more than physical, sensual worldly pleasures. We need to accept all fellow human beings as they are and learn to respect each and everyone. We need to make I into US or WE. Walking and swimming are one of my favourite activities to do in my free time. To conclude I would say that God has been exceptionally kind to give us good eyes and healthy body. It is important to look after them when you are young. Don’t ignore health as Life is beautiful and worth living.

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