There is a rise in road traffic accidents (RTA) in Assam but there is a health concern that often goes unnoticed. It is found that with regard to minor injury, especially among two-wheeler riders there is high risk of developing blindness.
“There have been an increasing number of cases of road traffic accidents (RTA). Many a times, the young people ride their motor-cycles irresponsibly, without protective headgear. This could lead to minor injuries for which most people only seek first-aid. But it has high potential of causing blindness. This condition is called indirect traumatic optic neuropathy which we have been studying since 2008,” Director of Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya (SSN), Dr Harsha Bhattacharjee told Northeast Now.
According to the Assam Public Works department data, of 7435 accidents 6127 cases suffered injuries in 2016.
This condition had no treatment facilities until mid-2017.
“We procured navigational instruments to start the treatment called navigational optic canal decompression surgery. We have received cases from across Northeast and also from other parts of India who have undergone treatment and recovered their eyesight,” Dr Bhattacharjee added.
Currently, SSN is the only centre in the country to provide surgery facility for this condition.
“There is a lack of awareness regarding this because in case of minor injury, people tend to overlook. Hundreds of young boys are losing their eyesight because they do not use protective headgear and the numbers are rising,” Dr Bhattacharjee noted.