A Glaucoma specialist with the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, Dr Abdullahi Sadiq Muhammed has said most of the people who go blind after eye operation are self-inflicted due to non-adherence to operating instructions.
He also ruled out time-wasting allegations against the National Eye Centre, Kaduna saying, that attending to eye patients has to do with a lot of careful machine examinations and tests which makes it different from the way other doctors attend to malaria or blood pressure patients.
The Specialist exclusively told Daily Sun that, there is no recent data about the number of glaucoma patients or prevalent community in Kaduna State but quickly added that the South-east has more cases of glaucoma in the Country based on the last national eye survey conducted some years back.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerves that connect the eyes to the brain. So, once that nerve is damaged due to optic pressure, even though the eye is outwardly okay, the patient will not be able to see, he explained.
He said though Glaucoma is seen as a hopeless eye disease, to him, that is not correct because there are so many things that can be done about it so far the patient shows up in good time.
“If you look at it internationally, I’ve been to India, and Germany where I worked in hospitals like this. Seeing eye patients is different from seeing general patients. You have to do a lot of examinations and tests using machines and that is what people complain about.
“Anyone who waits and passes through these examinations and tests will tell you we don’t waste time. Again to avoid keeping our patients, we give them appointments. By that, we are attending to 100 patients in a week. We have so many patients”, he said.
On complications after the surgery he said, “there are instances a patient will have complications and because we are dealing with the eye, some complications can lead to blindness. The point is how often do we have that? For example, if we operate 100 patients, we hardly have one complication, and even as low as it looks, we are always saddened when such happens.
“Sometimes, it may be from the patients. For example, you operate on a patient, he goes home and ignores operating instructions and before you know it, the infection comes which may lead to complications. Sometimes it may be due to human error which we will inform the patient. I have one patient like that and I explained to her. I assured her that by the time we do the second operation in about three months, she will regain her sight.
“Again, someone who is blind is brought to the facility, you operate the eyes and he regains his vision, and becomes so happy and joyous forgetting there is a fresh wound that will take a while to heal. Such patients go back to work immediately after the surgery, driving and all that, and in the process expose their eyes to danger.
“We give operating instructions like not washing the eyes, not doing your hair, and using sunglasses if you must go out. Usually, a patient should be seen a day after the operation, then one week, and then four weeks. We are confident that from the fourth week, healing has started,” he narrated.