Two young adult male, Nagaraj and Mohammed Azar had suffered from ocular injuries while working. Nagaraj who works as a pourakarmika injured his eye while loading garbage into a truck and Mohammed Azar, who is a locksmith, had hurt his eye as he was making a key. Both underwent surgery at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital and have recovered with full vision.
Hailing from Bangalore, Nagaraj had a normal life until recently. However, his life took an unfortunate turn few weeks ago. A broomstick poked into his right eye injuring it deeply while he was doing his usual chores as a pourakarmika. He was immediately rushed to Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital. On examination it was identified that he had sustained an occupational ocular injury. His cornea was torn and his lens was also damaged causing intraocular infection. The severe trauma also led to traumatic cataract with endophthalmitis affecting the vision of his right eye significantly. He could not see anything beyond one foot.
Similar was the case of Mohammed Azar whose occupation cost him his vision. While working, a metal piece entered into Mohammed’s left eye damaging his sight. During check-up it was diagnosed that the metal piece not only pierced his cornea and lens, it even entered into the retina and got stuck there causing Retinal Detachment. Owing to the injury, he even had a vitreous hemorrhage leaving him with less than 1 meter vision.
While the causes and severity of the injuries suffered by Nagaraj and Mohammed were different, they both suffered from occupation led eye injuries. Though a high risk case, as the youngsters were the breadwinners of their families and more over leaving the injury unattended immediately would cause loss of vision, Dr. Ravi D, Head of Medical Services, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Bangalore along with Dr. Ashraya and Dr. Raghu took up the cases.
Nagaraj’s treatment called for a 2 hour long step by step surgical intervention. His cornea was damaged and fluid was leaking and hence they firstly worked on his corneal tear, followed it up by a lens aspiration. Finally his vision was restored by implanting an intraocular lens. Mohammed Azar required a triple procedure as his retina was also affected. He had to undergo Pars Plana Vitrectomy, Intra Ocular foreign body removal, corneal tear suturing, lens aspiration, IOL implantation, retinal correction and silicon oil implantation. Today, not only have they regained their vision, they have rejoined their respective professions. This kind of scenarios needs multi disciplinary approach of cornea, cataract and retina surgeons.
Elaborating on the cases, Dr. Ravi. D, Head – Medical Services, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Bangalore, said, “Both the cases were challenging as the depth of the injury was not known. It not only called for a detailed investigation but a careful intervention as well. We had to examine the depth of the injury, repair the damaged structures and eventually fix the lens. As the lenses were damaged due to trauma, identifying the power of the lens was also a challenge. Further, the intervention also required us to be extra careful so that the neighbouring structures are not damaged.”
“In Bangalore, we receive around 20 cases of occupation led eye injuries every month. In most cases it is caused due to lack of basic protection. Greater awareness is the need of the hour to prevent such avoidable causalities.” added Dr. Raghu, Senior Consultant, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital
Expressing their joy of regaining their vision, Mr. Nagaraj and Mr. Moahmmed Azar said, “We had no hopes of regaining our vision. If we are back to normal life and carrying on smoothly with our profession, it is only because of the expertise and timely intervention extended by doctors.”
The case of Mr. Nagaraj and Mr. Mohammed Azar not only presents a need for taking protective measures during any kind of working condition but also gives a ray of hope for many who suffer from occupational hazards due to various causes.
Occupational ocular ailments are injuries that occur during the course of a job. In fact, job related injuries comprise 70% of all the ocular injuries that occurs in the working population.