Doctors in New Delhi, India, are being credited with curing a young man suffering from a very rare eye condition. The 20-year old student had been suffering from a condition known as eye stroke, which left him with blind spots and, at times, a total loss of vision.
The official name for eye stroke is Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion (BRAO). Basically, this name refers to the blockage in the central retinal artery, which is the root cause of eye stroke. BRAO is more common for people who are over 40 years old. People with high cholesterol, cardio-vascular diseases, or diabetes are at a greater risk for developing this condition.
Ajay Kumar is the young student who was suffering from BRAO. He told reporters that he had been suffering from the disease from a very young age. Although he told his parents that he experienced blurry vision and strange blind spots in his pre-teens, his parents just thought he needed a good pair of glasses. Kumar wore glasses ever since the age of twelve, but over the years the frequency and severity of his symptoms only increased.
After suffering a particularly acute bout of blind spots and vision loss at school, Kumar decided to seek professional treatment. Kumar was officially diagnosed with BRAO by the ophthalmologist Kamal B. Kapoor. Doctor Kapoor, who works at the Sharp Sight for Vision hospital in New Delhi, took a fluorescein angiography of Kumar's eyes and found that the more severe blockages in Kumar's vessels were near his right eye. Doctor Kapoor also noted that Kumar's cholesterol levels were quite high for a person his age. This could have contributed to the severity of Kumar's eye symptoms.
To treat Kumar, Doctor Kapoor made the student inhale a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen. This mixture dilated Kumar's central retinal artery. After the artery was sufficiently dilated, Doctor Kapoor noticed that a liquid started forming in Kumar's right eye. The doctor quickly removed the liquid, and Kumar's clots instantly diminished.
Doctor Kapoor expects Kumar to make a full recovery from this operation. He told reporters that Kumar is currently wearing power glasses to help him see, but Kumar no longer experiences any blind spots or episodes of vision loss. Kumar has been put on a regimen of eye medications, plus he has been taught some eye strengthening exercises to hopefully help him ditch the eye glasses altogether one day.
BRAO is most commonly found in people between the ages of 45-55. The chances of getting BRAO under 30, as Kumar did, are only one in 50,000. However, it is very important for anyone experiencing blind spots to get them checked out by an eye doctor to see if BRAO might be the cause. This disease is difficult to catch in its early stages, but an early diagnosis can lead to a more successful treatment. BRAO is very serious and it can lead to permanent issues like a loss of peripheral vision, fuzzy vision, and even permanent blind spots. In terms of prevention, doctors recommend watching cholesterol levels, since BRAO is more common in people with high cholesterol.