SICKLE CELL RETINOPATHY
Sickle cell retinopathy can be defined as retinal changes due to blood vessel damage in the eye of a person with a background of sickle cell disease. It can likely progress to loss of vision in late stages due to vitreous hemorrhage or retinal detachment. Sickle cell disease is a structural red blood cell disorder leading to consequences in multiple systems. It is characterized by chronic red blood cell destruction, vascular injury, and tissue ischemia causing damage to the brain, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and musculoskeletal system.
People affected by sickle cell disease are commonly of African or Asian descent. Emigration patterns towards the Western Hemisphere have led to increased numbers of persons affected by sickle cell disease in regions where it was previously uncommon. Knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease and its management are now increasingly relevant in areas such as the European Union. At a young age, a great proportion of people living with sickle cell disease can develop retinal changes. Sickle cell disease consists of several subtypes; however, the Haemoglobin type C (HbSC) subtype carries the gravest prognosis for sickle cell retinopathy and vision changes.
Regular retinal examinations can aid in early detection and treatment, thus reducing the impact of the condition and the risk of vision loss. Development and progression of sickle cell retinopathy can be favorably modified through management of the underling sickle cell disease. Treatment of the general disease can ameliorate its systemic effects
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Comma sign: Comma shaped vessels in the bulbar conjunctiva is due to vascular occlusion of conjunctival vessels.
- Vitreoretinal traction or retinal detachment cause flashes, floaters or dark shadows.
- Sudden loss of vision may occur due to retinal artery occlusion, vitreous hemorrhage or retinal detachment.
- Intravascular occlusions may be seen in optic disc vessels.
Normal adult hemoglobin A molecule comprises two α and two β globin chains associated with a heme ring. Mutation at the 6th position of the beta chain is the cause of sickle cell disease. Due to sickle cell disease, vascular occlusion may occur in the conjunctiva, iris, retina, or choroid. Retinal changes occur due to blockage of retinal blood vessels by abnormal RBCs.
Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms
Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the treatment of sickle cell retinopathy are:
symphytum, crotalus horr., gelsemium, phosphorus, arnica mont., ledum etc.