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Light waves ahead in eye defect cure

Mapping the intricate details of the human eye and correcting its defects, which largely go unnoticed by both patients and doctors, will now be possible in Calcutta, with the introduction of space-age technology, zyoptics.

The technology, based on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) space age programme, ensures much better vision beyond the standard 6/6, say doctors. The zyoptics method will help doctors surgically correct aberrations in the eye that remain undetected since birth, apart from the usual problems of myopia and astigmatism.

Explaining the zyoptics technique, eye surgeon Divyesh Shah said a special wave of light is focused on the retina of the eye. The light bounces back with a distorted image, as the numerous defects are caught when the light passes through the eye.

The reflected wave of light is then captured in a special device, analysed and fed into a laser, with the help of computers, before a patient is treated. “Even minute aberrations can be cured with zyoptics, which is a phenomenal improvement in eyecare,” Shah said.

The technology was introduced in the US in 2000, before it cleared the legal and other hassles to be introduced in Mumbai and Bangalore and, then, in Calcutta.

Three decades after NASA first bounced a wave of light off the moon’s surface in 1969 to get a perfect view of its landscape, scientists have been able to use light waves in a similar procedure on the retina and detect countless, previously unnoticed aberrations in the human eye.

Imported from Germany, at an estimated cost of over Rs 2 crore, the zyoptics equipment has been set up in the city jointly by eyecare major Bausch & Lomb and Himalaya Vision Care Centre to provide the world’s most advanced vision correction surgery to Calcuttans.

The cost of the surgery has been pegged at Rs 35,000 for both eyes, while the duration stretches from three to five minutes.

At Himalaya Eyecare Centre, on Rashbehari Avenue, the equipment will be put to use under the guidance of eye surgeons and ophthalmologists.

“The best part of the treatment is that it offers improved quality of vision. The process also involves greater safety and efficacy than the normal laser techniques followed everywhere,” explained J.P. Singh, managing director of Bausch & Lomb, India.

The eyecare company also announced plans to train doctors in zyoptics. During a meet on November 29, ophthalmologists will be given a ringside view of the technology.

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