Bleeding retina adds to dengue patients' worries

Painful but no real threat to eyesight, say doctors

There does not seem to be an end to the woes of dengue patients. A lot of them with very low platelet count are also faced with bleeding retina and conjunctiva.

According to doctors, this problem is mainly seen in patients with dengue haemorrhagic fever.

According to Dr Charu Sachdeva, who practices internal medicine at Rockland Hospital, the small arteries and vessels in the eyes of many patients suffering from dengue haemorrhagic fever break, leading to bleeding spots in the eyes. “This results in pain whenever the patient tries to move the eyeballs,” the doctor said.

Of the over 100 dengue patients she has treated so far, 10-15 have been detected with this problem. She said bleeding inside the retina can lead to loss of eyesight in rare cases, but usually it is not a threat.

“If there is an increased leakage of blood in the retina or conjunctiva, it leads to an increased complications in vision. Heavy bleeding in retina can harm vision of a very serious level,” said Dr Nikhil Seth, senior consultant of ophthalmology at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences.

The hospital has come across six per cent of dengue patients suffering from the problem. However, none has suffered any damage to sight so far.

Get eyes tested

The good news is that this problem ends once the patient recovers from dengue. But Seth says a patient with platelet count below 50,000 must necessarily get eyes tested to detect the problem.

The other comparatively less severe eye problem plaguing these patients is conjunctivitis, which many of them suffer after they recuperate.

According to Dr Sanjay Pandey of medicine unit of AIIMS, the patients’ immunity is low which makes them vulnerable.

The eyes, being one of the most sensitive organs of the human body, become easy target.

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