It has been noticed across the world that several factors cause blindness. Still, one of the leading causes often associated with blindness is the isolation and poverty of the communities. One of the other factors under study that causes blindness is whether higher altitude causes blindness. The research suggests a higher propensity for cortical cataracts than those residing at lower altitudes.
The Study Of Altitude Blindness
The study compared people of Tibet (altitude of 4000m) and areas of Nepal and Beijing (altitude of 50m). It was noted that exposure to UV radiation played an essential role in accelerating the cataract, mainly with lens opacification becoming more likely among older people. The research showed that the increase in UV radiation is directly proportional to altitude increase at the rate of 4 per cent for every 300m ascent. Added to this, the intensity of the UV radiation increases when they get reflected by the snow. It has been researched that the UV reflection increases y eight times on snow compared to being double on water. Hence, people living at higher altitudes are likely to contract cataracts easily and faster than those living in low-lying areas.
The Inference From The Study
The study revealed that people from Tibet suffered more from blindness than those from Beijing. Despite Nepal having a higher altitude than Beijing, the results were not as alarming as Tibet. The reason has been many of the people, despite living in isolated communities, reside in areas that are overshadowed by the mountains, and have tried, thus lowering the UV radiation. But one aspect that has been the primary reason for blindness at the higher altitude is the isolation it faces as a community. The geographic location makes it hard for the communities to improve their income, and the lack of economic and social infrastructure combined with the taboos associated with blindness makes the life of individuals with cataracts to survive.
Challenging The Blindness Due To Altitude
But it is changing in parts of the world, mainly in the Indian sub-continent, with the help of Mr Tej Kohli and Dr Sanduk Ruit. Both pledged to eliminate this needless blindness caused by cataracts and other treatable congenital eye diseases. For a while, Mr. Tej Kohli’s Eye Foundation has been working hard to develop different and cost-effective ideas to treat cataracts and congenital eye diseases. Now Mr Tej Kholi has joined hands with the ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit, and launched the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation to eradicate this needless blindness from the world, one patient at a time.
Since operating and giving proper medical care to people living at a higher altitude is difficult, these two sexagenarians have started their work from there – in Nepal. The duo, with their team and local doctors, volunteers and nurses, have gone to places and organized eye camps for screening and testing where there are no proper roads or transportation. Now they have extended their eye screening camps and surgeries to India and Bhutan.
Future Plan Of Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation
The Foundation will work in countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, North Korea, Rwanda, Tanzania, Lebanon, and Syria in the next few years. The target is to screen over one million people and cure between 500,000 to 600,000 people of needless blindness by 2030. Irrespective of the altitude, Mr Kohli and Dr Ruit will remain indomitable in their fight to cure blindness.