“The colors didn’t look right and everything was blurry and cloudy.” That’s how housewife Sorange Riuler, 62, confirmed her eyesight when cataracts showed the first signs in 2018. .. From time to time she reported her discomfort to her husband and four children, but her daughter only started working at her home in 2020. Because of a pandemic she noticed that her mother often complained.
“She complained that small things were hard to see and blurry visibility hindered household chores. She was more difficult to clean, needle through, sew, and iron. That’s why she’s all I had to slow down, “says Talita de Oliveira Souza, 36, an environmental engineer.
Since her mother does not have health insurance, Tarita made an appointment with an ophthalmologist through the Unified Health System (SUS). Doctors have discovered that Solange has cataracts in both eyes and requires surgery.
Cataract, a public health problem in Brazil and around the world, is the opacity of the biological lens that exists in the eye. “This turbidity gradually occurs and the windshield of the car becomes cloudy, which is similar to cataracts,” said Rubens Bellfort Jr., an ophthalmologist, professor at Unifest (Reitoria da Unifes), and president of the Reitoria da Unifesto. Explains.
Still, according to ophthalmologists, almost everyone will suffer from cataracts with age. Previously, the techniques used did not allow pre- and post-surgery, but now cataracts can be operated at any stage, whenever the patient’s visual quality or living conditions are compromised.
The initial symptoms of the illness are mild: distant and / or near glare and eye strain, but as it progresses, one only sees the person and sees if the light is on or off. “Fortunately, this is a reversible loss of vision and blindness,” says Belfort Jr.
SUS and solution delay
With a guide in hand, Tarita went to the health center to schedule an examination in March 2020, but was informed that it was not scheduled due to a pandemic. Every day, the problem only got worse.
“I had a hard time walking down the street, I couldn’t see the sidewalks and stairs properly, and I was afraid to fall. I always liked walking, but on sunny days I avoided going out because the light was in the way. It was blurry. It didn’t make a difference. I had a hard time reading books, sending texts on my cell phone, and watching TV, “Recalls Solange.
Concerned about the progression of the disease and not knowing when SUS would release a service for scheduling tests, the family paid for a personal consultation with an ophthalmologist. Doctors found that Sorange lost 30% of his left eye and 15% of his right eye. She was advised to have surgery as soon as possible.
Talita quoted the cost of surgery in three clinics, and the results were disappointing. “Except for tests and examinations, each eye was R $ 4,000 at the cheapest place, but reached R $ 7,000 at the highest place. We couldn’t afford to pay,” her daughter said. say.
Due to the lack of prospects, Sorange was plagued by delays and the possibility of inability to process. “I was very worried, sad and afraid to be completely blind.”
In June 2021, Tarita’s fiancé saw a video announcement about Vision Central on YouTube. Specializing in digital health journeys, the startup favors eye surgery for people without health insurance.
This happens through partnerships with professional surgeons who offer free time in offices and clinics with more accessible and easy payment terms. There are 28 clinics in nine states in Brazil, with a total of more than 100 ophthalmologists.
Tarita contacted the Vision Center and explained her mother’s case. “It wasn’t until I confirmed that I was a serious and reliable company that I made a reservation at the clinic they recommended. The service was excellent and the best part was the price. Total amount of money including consultation, examination, surgery and rights. It’s accessible in three more visits, making payment terms easier, “he recalls.
Tarita, her father and brother shared and paid for left eye surgery for her mother. It took place on August 24, 2021, one year and five months after she received the surgical indication.
Cataracts can only be cured by surgery.
Cataracts are the most frequent cause of blindness, and surgery to correct them is one of the most performed in Brazil and around the world. In our country alone, it is estimated that more than 500,000 people will undergo surgery in this condition, notifying Belfort Junior, who holds a PhD and PhD in ophthalmology and immunology.
“This is a delicate and highly specialized surgery. When the cataract is removed, the surgeon puts an intraocular lens in place and restores vision. During the surgery, the doctor should avoid wearing glasses. Trying to correct the angle. Cataract treatments are always surgical, and there are no eye drops, pills, gymnastics, or lasers to prevent or delay the onset of the problem, “explains the doctor. ..
Satisfied and excited about the results of the surgery, Solange says the first thing she noticed was how bright the colors on the TV were. “Then I walked around the house and commented on what I was interested in. The stove flame was blue and the pot set I got from Talita was red. I knew how bad it was and how much I lost my eyesight. It was just after I had surgery, “he says.
Four months after the surgery, Solange received a phone call from a health center attendant informing him that a test guide was released and that he could schedule the test and subsequent surgery. Her housewife has the option to do it through SUS because she still needs to manipulate her right eye, but she didn’t want it.
“I will continue treatment at the clinic affiliated with Central da Visão. I was treated very well by the team. I am grateful that they helped me see me again. My husband and children I have paid for my first surgery. I will have surgery. In June of this year my right eye. I am anxious and looking forward to it, “says the housewife.
Sorange, who has fully restored her left eye vision, congratulates her on improving her quality of life and shares her experience last year. “Tarita did a parachute jump on her 62nd birthday. It was so great that she bravely jumped before the agreed date. Think broadly and be free. It made me feel fulfilled. “