Hyderabad: A team of doctors of LV Prasad Eye Institute here
has developed a rapid assessment methodology for fast diagnosis of eye
defects including blindness. Using this system, Rapid Assessment of
Visual Impairment (RAVI), for a pioneering study in coastal villages
of Prakasam district, the team noticed a high prevalence of visual
impairment in marine fishing communities.
The team comprising, Dr Marmamula Srinivas, Dr Madala R Sreenivas and
Dr Gullapalli N Rao, found visual impairment was as high as 30 per
cent. This included 7.1 per cent marine fishermen with complete
"Cataract and uncorrected refractive errors, which are considered to
be the easiest causes of avoidable visual impairment, are contributing
to over 95 per cent of the visual impairment. Our rapid assessment
methodology is robust, quick and has the potential to be replicated in
other areas," said Dr Srinivas.
Cataract is the leading cause of visual impairment followed by
uncorrected refractive errors (URE). Despite such simple remedies, URE
cause 16 per cent of the blindness and 46 per cent of the visual
impairment across all age groups in Andhra Pradesh, the researchers
The fishing communities were selected for RAVI tests because they are
marginalised population and have distinct lifestyle compared to other
communities. Cataract was the cause of blindness in 92.8 per cent and
moderate visual impairment in 77.2 per cent of the individuals
According to the LVPEI team, uncorrected refractive errors is the
second leading cause of moderate visual impairment, while post
cataract surgical complications were the leading cause of blindness.
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