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In case you find any sign of lazy eye where the eyes do not appear to look in the same direction or a shiny white patch in the retina of your child, please do not neglect. Immediately rush to an ocular oncologist as your child may have retinoblastoma - a very common kind of cancer in the retina, usually seen among children.
Other possible symptoms of retinoblastoma include blurry vision, pain in the eye, redness of the white part in the eye, bleeding in the front of the eye, eye bulging, different colour in each iris and pupil that does not get smaller when exposed to bright light, according to the American Cancer Society. Although commonly prevalent among Indian children as much as 3 to 5 per millions, lack of adequate ocular oncologists to detect the cancer at initial stage is the main scare, resulting in several children losing their eyesight due to late detection.
Late detection, the major challenge
According to doctors, out of 1400 retinoblastoma patients, only 800 can reach the right doctor at the right time. More than 70% of patients that come for medical intervention reach a doctor at an advanced stage due to delayed detection both at parental and medical level.
Experts believe that a routine eye check-up should be made mandatory in order to avoid late detection. While children are often taken to pediatricians and physicians for routine health check-ups, eyes are often being neglected. Most pediatricians fail to detect the cancer in the eyes as they are not sufficiently trained to do so, say doctors.
There is a prominent dearth of ophthalmologists who are skilled in treating retinoblastoma or even diagnose it, which the experts feel, needs immediate attention to reduce incidence of retinoblastoma in the country.
Get them from your grocery for reducing risk of eye cancer
Carrots: Brimming with beta-carotene, an antioxidant and rich in Vitamin A, scientists have found carrots to be essential for maintaining your eye health, preventing oxidative damage and inflammation.
Fatty fish: Rich in Omega-3-fatty acids, fatty fish helps in curbing inflammation by keeping a balance between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio. Also, the area near your retina is filled with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Thus, eating salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc are good for your eyes.
Spinach: Loaded with vitamins E, A, B and C and minerals like iron and zinc and phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, spinach is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It not just prevents macular degeneration and cataracts but also keep your cornea healthy along with reducing risk of eye cancer.
Eggs: Stuffed with essential amino acids and fat and water-soluble vitamins along with lutein and zeaxanthin, eggs are perfect option for keeping your eyes hearty. Consuming one or two eggs daily should be must to avoid eye related ailments.
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