|So common is
trachoma in Arab population that many of these
patients accept it as normal and do not even
complain to the physician or ask for an opinion
of an ophthalmologist. Others do land up with
ophthalmic surgeons because of complications of
trachoma resulting in severe visual loss, corneal
opacities or even blindness.
Only poor hygiene
would not explain the very high incidence, of
this disease because Dacryocystitis which is also
related to poor hygiene is very uncommon in
following are some of the other observations made
in this population in whom the most common
chronic eye symptom is poor vision.
errors which are uncorrected are commonly picked
up on ophthalmic examination. So also is
Amblyopia. Surprisingly, Presbyopia occurs in
Arabs at an age earlier than Western or even
Indian population. It is not uncommon to see it
at the age of 35 to 40 years. Even if a margin is
kept for the ignorance of these patients for
their correct age, for some reason or the other,
presbyopia starts at an early age. Some patients
then may connect an organic disease in the body
responsible for it. However, majority of the
Arabs do not do much reading and presbyopia is
only incidentally detected.
macular degeneration known as Stargadt's disease
seems to be more common in Arabs.
macular burns are a common cause of poor vision
in this population. This must be related to the
extreme heat and sun light in their countries.
see plenty of Arabs coming for cataract surgery,
the real incidence of this disease does not seem
to be more than that seen in Indian population.
Two reasons are obvious for this apparent high
incidence. One is that most of the Arabs live
long and thus a large number that we see are
elderly. Secondly they go abroad looking for
better surgical care, which is really speaking
already available in countries like Saudi Arabia
hardly ever seen an Arab having diabetic
retinopathy. In the ophthalmic department of
Jaslok Hospital, Bombay, out of more than three
hundred diabetics screened, only three patients
had diabetic retinopathy.
retinopathy of Grades 111 and IV or a case of
malignant hypertension has hardly been ever seen
in an Arab.
many elderly Arabs come for medical check up,
surprisingly senile macular degeneration is less
common in them
anaemia is common, yet the incidence of fundus
being affected by this disease seems to be low.
the eye complications of connective tissue
disorders are very rare. As mentioned elsewhere,
this group of illnesses is uncommon in the Arab