Our Community is blessed with achievers, visionaries and luminaries, but rarely does one not just encapsulate all three, but does so with an extraordinary frequency by being the recipient of numerous national honors and global accolades! Of course, we are talking of none other than Dr. Cyres Mehta, one of the tallest feathers in our Community’s Cap!
India’s leading eye surgeon, renowned globally for his path-breaking research and for constantly setting new standards and breakthroughs worldwide in eye care, Dr. Cyres’ cup surely does runneth over with the innumerable awards he has received, celebrating his excellence and dedication to eye-care. More recently, we are delighted to share that Dr. Cyres was bestowed the ‘International Hero Of Indian Ophthalmology’ by the prestigious All India Ophthalmologists Association for becoming the Scientific Chairman of the International Society of Bilateral Cataract Surgeons, London. He was also honored with the ‘British Ophthalmic Award’ for promoting Robotic cataract surgery across the subcontinent, personally by the Indian Ambassador to Austria (Vienna). Adding to his striking list of ‘Firsts’, this year, Dr. Cyres Mehta became the first Indian to be honoured with the ‘International Medal Lecture 2018’ by the ‘Societa Oftalmologica Italiana’ in Rome, on the occasion commemorating its 150th Anniversary.
Dr. Cyres Mehta answers a few pertinent queries sent in by P.T. Readers:
Jamshed G. Kapadia: During a routine health checkup, the eye doctor says my ‘eye pressure is high’ and scared me by saying I have ‘Glaucoma’. What does this mean?
Dr. Cyres: Glaucoma is fast becoming a public health problem in India. Over 7 to 9 per cent of the aging population develops some type of glaucoma. This high-pressure in the eye can press on the optic nerve and cause blindness if untreated. However, today with technology like nano SLT, we can lower the pressure by 4-6 points via a painless 2-minute non-invasive laser application.
Shirin Bogdawala: A friend had a ‘multifocal lens’ implanted in her eye after cataract surgery. Now she gets so much glare at night that she cannot drive anymore. Can this be resolved?
Dr. Cyres: The multifocals used earlier had this issue. These days, we use multifocal lenses called ‘EDOF’, which, unlike the old models, reduces the glare to nearly zero, and provides excellent distance vison as well as near and intermediate (phone usage ,iPad etc) too!
Shiamak Shroff: I recently went for my eye checkup, which I’d been avoiding for years, as my vison was increasingly deteriorating. My diabetes has also been bad for many years and the doctor has informed me I have bleeding in the eye due to Diabetes. I’m really scared…
Dr. Cyres: Poorly controlled diabetes is a major cause of blindness in modern times, where stress, fast food and slow activity have begun to define our lifestyle. Once the eye starts bleeding, it needs laser assistance, and in some cases, a surgery called ‘Vitrectomy’, to clean the blood from the inside of the eye. Treated early, the outcome is usually good.
Jeru F. Dubash: This Sunday, I saw an advertisement from some company saying opt for ‘Femto Cataract’. What is this procedure? Is it different from regular cataract surgery or is this just hype and marketing?
Dr. Cyres: In a regular cataract surgery, a small blade makes a cut into the eye. Then a vibrating needle breaks up the cataract much as a jackhammer breaks the road! In an expert’s hands, this ‘phaco surgery’ gives excellent results and is the way we were performing modern cataract surgery for nearly 20 years. But since the last 5 years worldwide, a new technology has gained prominence – the ‘Femtolaser Cataract Technology’, where a laser makes a tunnel to enter the eye, instead of a blade. Next, instead of a vibrating needle, first the laser beam fires for 30 seconds and melts the cataract. Then, we enter with the needle and suck it out. The surgeon’s skill is still required but the amount of time the vibrating needle takes to remove the cataract from the eye is reduced by one twentieth! Naturally, the eye recovers faster, especially with hard cataracts or in situations where the lens supports are unstable. This robotic technology is an expensive investment for the doctor but it’s here to stay. India has over 25,000 eye surgeons but less than 50 machines, with most eye surgeons preferring the old technology, as it is more cost effective. Even in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, there are only 6 such machines for such a huge population!