This was done in April. Attempts to locally publish it in Ooty came to naught. So here’s it.
I notice that Dr D Krishnamurthy is preoccupied and to the point of being fidgety during the course of my interview with him. He has hundreds of things to do and yet he accommodates me gracefully after a couple of hours of waiting. The man is all charm as he lends a keen ear to my questions.
The most common of eye problems, the good doctor tell me, is of refractive index, which forces 30% of all Indian children to wear glasses. With the life expectancy increasing, diseases like Glaucoma are also on the rise. Age-Related Macular Degeneration, ARMD, is also common these days.
I take a quick survey of the patients at the Eye Foundation in Coimbatore. Most of them are middle aged. Nurses are reverential and efficient. There is a system put in place. My own examinations lasted about 15 minutes, and I came out happy that a thorough job had been done. The foundation has its own pharmacy, critical in a town like Ooty, and also dispenses eye glasses. I was asked if I wanted to go for a non-invasive laser surgery. “Do you want contact glasses?” Again, a no. I politely declined.
I asked if glaucoma had become an epidemic. “Not really. Cases are common but the procedure is safe. But it is better if the condition is caught early,” says Ramamurthy. The Eye Foundation has several clinics strewn across western Tamil Nadu. “All of them have cutting edge technology,” he says.
“His day is divided between administrative tasks. But we always have patients who need to see him. He divides his time equally between centres. However, he is based in Coimbatore at the Eye Foundation there,” says Girish Reddy GC.
Retinitis Pigmentosa, otherwise known as night blindness, is the scrounge among eye disorders. “We have hundreds of patients who come with us seeking a cure for their problem. Though the issue can be alleviated, it cannot be cured, which is unfortunate,” says Ramamurthy.