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Visual Impairment during viral illnessiscommon – Alerts Narayana Nethralaya’s study

Viral illnesses like Dengue and Chikungunya are rising in Karnataka. Patients of these diseases can experience fever, headache, pain in the knees, ankle and other joints of the body, loss of taste, skin rashes, vomiting, and diarrhoea. However, not many people are aware that once this condition resolves, there may be either minor or major problems related to vision, and in some cases might lead to sustained vision loss gradually
Bangalore | Written by: BNN Team | Updated: 16-10-2018 | Views: 383
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Explaining the nature of this vision loss and its causes, Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya, said, “There are patients who have developed temporary or permanent loss of vision, following viral illnesses like Dengue and Chikungunya and bacterial infections like typhoid and rickettsia. This has even occurred many days to weeks, following the onset and resolution of the fever. The permanent vision loss could be due to optic neuritis, retinitis, and vascular occlusions. Early recognition and prompt treatment are the keys to managing these eye conditions.”
“We are proposing to conduct a prospective study on Fever Associated Visual Outcome involving Uvea and Retina (FAVOUR)following these illnesses.The Ethics committee has approved to recruit the patients for this study.  Our Uvea consultant Dr. Sanjay Srinivasan is the lead investigator of this project along with the other consultants in the department.Through detailed study and observations, the team is looking at visual outcomes and formulating standard treatment guidelines for this emerging and evolving eye conditions.” added Dr. BhujangShetty.

Dr. Padmamalini M,Head of the Department of Uvea and Ocular Immunology at Narayana Nethralaya,an expert in treatment of ocular manifestations of Chikungunya, Dengue, Rickettsiae infections in the eye says, “Once we identify the exact etiology and early institution of appropriate anti-inflammatory therapy with antimicrobial therapy wecan restore the vision in majority of the patients.”

Concluding, Dr. Bhujang Shetty said, “Awareness among the general public is the key to recognizing and seeking the services of the ophthalmologist which may result in a better outcome and effective management of the condition or even prevention of permanent visual impairment.”

Dr. Ankush Kawali has suggested the term ‘Epidemic retinitis’ and analyse tears and serum markers to understand the mechanism of the disease with steroid-sparing treatment, and Dr. Namita observes that ocular complications related to post febrile infection are varied and not so uncommon and may be related to an immune-mediated process.

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