Monday, 26 February, 2024

Ophthalmologists warn of vision loss from SHAPU

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Kathmandu, Sep. 16: Ophthalmologists have warned that Seasonal hyperacute panuveitis (SHAPU) an eye disease can be fatal and severe enough to lose the eyesight within 48 hours of contraction if not contact the doctor at the earliest.

They said that almost 55-65 per cent of people who have SHAPU can lose their vision if gone without treatment for 48 hours.

According to Dr Sanjeev Bhattarai, Assistant Professor at the TU Teaching Hospital, SHAPU is the most devastating intraocular inflammatory disease leading to loss of sight within 48 hours and, in many cases, disfigurement of eyes, which is caused by the moth (Nisachar putali).

According to Dr Bhattarai as the SHAPU comes at night so try to avoid using a bright light as it attracts the moth, observe children when they are playing outside and put mosquito net and net in the house to avoid the entrance of moths inside the home. Mainly, people of mid-hills needs to pay heed on the matter for it is risk zones for SHAPH contraction.

It is an important cause of unilateral childhood blindness in children, which was first observed in Nepal in 1975 AD and has been occurring every alternative year gripping children, causing them blindness and disfigurement, he added.

“Almost 55-65 per cent of people can lose their eyesight if gone untreated within hours of contraction SHAPU,” said Dr Bhattarai.

He said that SHAPU at first cause’s eye inflammation, redness of the eye, decrease in eyesight, and difficulty in looking at sunlight and quickly spreads to cornea then to vitreous, where 4 ml water and puss gathers up at vitreous blocking eyesight and turning the black pupil into the white pupil. 

According to Dr Kamal Bahadur Khadka, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Nepal Eye Hospital, SAPU can be observed post rainy reason from September to December, therefore, awareness of the SHAPU and its symptoms, is a must as losing eyesight within hours have been generally observed in people with SHAPU.

"Mainly, SHAPU can be detected in children as they can come into contact with moth while playing, therefore, parents are recommended to be cautious and educate children about SHAPU," he added.

“SHAPU is different than other eye infections, as it is not viral, fungus or bacterial condition, and bacteria and virus are not observed at initial culture. In other eye conditions, watery eyes and of eyes boogers are generally observed during the morning but SHAPU does not give watery eyes and eye boogers,” said Dr Khadka.

SHAPE was detected 44 years ago in the Pokhara in 1975 and it is generally seen in the districts of mid-hills, such as Kaski, Baglung, Syangja of the country today as well.