Reinforcing its reputation as the Sultanate’s premier surgical eye-care services provider in the private sector, Muscat Eye Laser Center has added a new specialist department to its already formidable capabilities.
The Glaucoma Department will exclusively focus on an eye disease that, according to health experts, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. In Oman, glaucoma has been singled out as an eye disease that merits priority action under the Health Ministry’s Vision 2020 Plan. In 2012, a total of 3,822 cases of glaucoma related illnesses were reported at Ministry-run healthcare facilities around the Sultanate. They accounted for 5.2 per cent of all eye-related hospital visits recorded by the Ministry that year.
Spearheading Muscat Eye Laser Center’s battle against glaucoma is Dr. Mario Vittorino, an Ophthalmic Surgeon who specialises in the treatment of this scourge. An Italian citizen, Dr. Vittorino earned his credentials as an ophthalmologist from reputable institutions in Colombia and Spain, recognised by Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition to his core focus as an ophthalmologist, Dr. Vittorino has also distinguished himself as a lecturer, researcher and international guest speaker.
As the Head of the soon-to-be established Glaucoma Department, Dr. Vittorino will bring new purpose and energy to Muscat Eye Laser Center’s drive against the disease. His wide experience in the management of glaucoma, garnered over more than 13 years of international practice, will complement the Center’s state-of-the-art surgical care facilities to offer unrivalled services in the area of glaucoma care.
Glaucoma’s insidious nature is well known to eye care professionals. It represents a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress (without warning or obvious symptoms to the patient) towards gradually worsening visual damage and possible blindness. This visual damage is mostly irreversible, and has led to glaucoma being dubbed the ‘sneak thief of sight’.
Owing to the silent progression of the disease, around half of all cases – particularly in developed countries – are unaware of their affliction and thus receive no treatment at all. This trend rises to 90 per cent in poorer countries.
In choosing a highly competent ophthalmic surgeon to lead its fight against glaucoma, Muscat Eye Laser Center is signalling a renewed commitment to helping its customers tackle their affliction. “With Dr. Vittorino at the helm, the Glaucoma Department is poised to evolve into a center of excellence for glaucoma care, thereby supplementing the Center’s superior capabilities in the surgical correction of refractive eye problems and a host of other eye related diseases,” said Dr. Maria Clara Arbelaez, renowned corneal transplant surgeon and Medical Director.