Sankara Nethralaya News

Ophthalmologists from Sankara Nethralaya attend 68th TNOA Annual Conference

Madras ICON 2021, the 68th annual conference of Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association (TNOA) was a first-of-its-kind, a hybrid conference (2 days virtual and one day physical participation). The event was held over 3 days and was attended by our elite consultants from varied ophthalmic sub-specialities.

  • Dr. T. S. Surendran was the Chairman of the Paediatric Ophthalmology Session and spoke on “Overview of Strabismus.” The co-chairperson was Dr. S. Meenakshi, with Dr. Kavitha Kalaivani as the moderator. Dr. T. S. Surendran spoke on the topic: “Let us make it straight, Can we? – Tailored approach to strabismus management.” Dr. Meenakshi Swaminathan spoke on the topic: “Shaky eyes – what can we treat in nystagmus.” Dr. Kavitha Kalaivani spoke on the topics: “What’s next after cataract surgeries- end is not the end” and “Interesting cases.”
  • The free paper titled “Clinical features and outcomes of pediatric traumatic cranial nerve palsies (FP 446)” presented by Dr Akshya. P (Dr AYP ) and coauthored by Dr. Muthumeena Muthumalai (Dr MMI) was adjudged as the First Runner-Up among free papers in Pediatric Ophthalmology in TNOA.
  • Dr. Vineet Ratra performed a cataract surgery live as part of the “Challenging scenarios in cataract surgery” – video symposium.
  • Dr. Sonam Nisar spoke on the topic: “Advances in Oculoplasty: Do all Mucor need exenteration: indications and surgical steps” as part of the Advances in Oculoplasty session.
  • Dr. Rama Rajagopal was the co-chairman of the Cornea symposium and also spoke on the topic: “Ocular surface tumours.”
  • Dr. Meena Lakshmipathy spoke on the topic, “Infectious keratitis – taming the tide” and Dr. Sudhir R. R. spoke on the topic of “Managing post PRK haze.”
  • Dr. L. VIjaya was the chairperson of the Glaucoma symposium and delivered a talk on “Role of lens in glaucoma-yes clear lens extraction an option and Dr. Ronnie George spoke on “Glaucoma medication – start early lower fewer better.”
  • Dr. Jyotirmay Biswas was the chairperson of the Uvea symposium and gave a talk on Uveitis search for the cause. He also chaired a session on Journal and gave keynote address on “Uveitis Research and publications – My journey and way forward”. He delivered a talk “Practical pearls in Uveitis” in the virtual session titled “Uveitic pearls from the bosses.” Dr Sudharshan was the moderator of the virtual session.
  • Dr. Sudharshan S moderated the in-person session titled “Uvea – Utopia.” He also spoke on the topic: “Pattern recognition in uveitis.”
  • Dr. Parthopratim Dutta Majumder spoke on the topic: “Beyond Steroids.”
  • Dr. Vidhya Dharani D. M. gave a talk on the topic, “Sudden Vision Loss,” which was part of Neuro-Ophthalmology Nuggets Symposium.
  • Dr. Pramod Bhende was part of the organising team for Retina sessions and spoke on “Principles of management of pediatric retinal detachments” in “Surgical retina” session on 12th Sept. Dr. Muna Bhende was a part of the instruction course and spoke on “Atypical presentations of AMD and PCV”.
  • In the Medical retina session – Current management updates, Dr. Rajiv Raman spoke on the topic: “Diabetic Macular Oedema” and Dr. Suganeswari Ganesan spoke on the topic: “Retinopathy of prematurity.”

The three-day conference was a first for TNOA as the hybrid conference with both virtual and physical participation had an impressive turnout. Around 800 ophthalmologists attended the conference virtually and another 200 doctors who attended the in-person sessions making this year’s conference a big success. Such hybrid conferences may be the future as suggested by the feedback.

Rainbow Children’s Hospital starts comprehensive pediatric ophthalmology services partnering with Sankara Nethralaya

Pediatric ophthalmology is now universally recognized as a specific sub-specialty. Ophthalmic care of children in this era is no longer something that general ophthalmologists do as an adjunct to their predominantly adult clinical practice. It is instead delivered in dedicated pediatric ophthalmology clinics run by teams with expertise in the care of children. Sankara Nethralaya has associated with Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Chennai to provide a highly specialized, niche and advanced eye care facility with expert diagnosis and treatment.

This facility was inaugurated by Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice-Chairman and Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Sankara Nethralaya. The scope of services includes Retinopathy of Prematurity screening and management including anti-VEGF therapy, pediatric ophthalmological emergency and OPD services, refractory errors in children, squint, congenital cataract and tumors of the eye.

The pediatric ophthalmological out-patient clinic adds to the value of the already existing pediatric program run by Rainbow Children’s Hospital and is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive and unique facility in the city.

Community Activities of the Elite School of Optometry

A Comprehensive Eye Screening for people in Old age home 

Screening camps for adults generally concentrate on checking vision and a preliminary assessment for cataract. But GOOD study (Geriatric Outreach and Ocular Diagnosis) ensures that the comprehensive evaluation provided inside the hospital premises is available at the old age homes. The first Home that was covered under this project was Sri Sathya Narayana Charitable Trust, Nanmangalam, conducted on the 15th of August 2021.

The services included:

a) A detailed history of the patient’s ocular and systemic conditions 
b) Screening and testing for refractive errors (Need for spectacles) 
c) Screening for other ocular problems like cataract, Conjunctival and corneal degenerations 
d) Screening for the “Silent killers of sight” – glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy

Other Activities

  1. Screening for general health conditions
  2. Questionnaire on cognitive assessment and visual function assessment
  3. Fun activities with the inmates

Report on the screening: 
Total Number of People Screened – 43
Number of Given Spectacles – 14
Number of Referrals – 16
Cataract – 6
Cornea – 1
Glaucoma – 2
Oculoplasty – 0
Posterior Capsular Opacity – 2
Retina – 3
Squint – 0
Neuro – 1
Rehabilitation – 1

SNEHAM: (Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital Anjali to Mahatma)

SNEHAM is a special community project aimed at the villages of Thiruvannamalai. This unique project was started in 2020 commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma. Comprehensive vision screening for three villages in Thiruvannamali district included the provision of free spectacles, surgical services and other specialty services to the villagers. Highlight of the camp included provision of services by stationing in every village for 3-4 days, in person distribution of spectacles, and choice of surgical services either at Chennai or our secondary centre, Suraj Sankara Nethralaya at Thiruvannamalai.

Elite School of Optometry / Sankara Nethralaya Highlights Activities from June 2021 to August 2021

M. Optom Batch 2019 – Placement details

Elite School of Optometry, (ESO) since its inception in 1985 has consistently produced graduates who meet the global standards in the field of Optometry with 100% job placement. The institute offers Master of Optometry (M. Optom.), a research-intensive two-year degree program in collaboration With SASTRA, Deemed-to-be-University. ESO stands as a role model in the domains of academics, research, and community work in the field of Optometry and continues to provide world class optometrists for service to the country. Till date, 708 students have graduated with Bachelor’s degrees, 122 with Master’s degrees and 10 have obtained Doctorate in Philosophy from ESO.

The scope of optometry is enormous. It includes clinical role at hospitals in the outpatient clinics, diagnostic services, and in speciality clinics in the following domains such as Dispensing Opticals, Contact Lens clinic, Binocular Vision clinic, Low Vision Care clinic, Myopia clinic, Neuro Optometry Rehabilitation clinic, Special Children vision clinic, Ocular Prosthesis clinic, and Community Outreach and Occupational Optometry services. Optometrists also play a key role as researchers, academicians, administrators, private practitioners and entrepreneurs.

This year too, ten graduates from ESO in collaboration with SASTRA Deemed to be University have passed out with flying colours from the M Optom program. They have acquired unique roles as lecturers at Elite school of Optometry, clinical and research optometrists at Sankara Nethralaya and pursuant of doctoral studies (details are given below). We congratulate them and wish the best for their future endeavours!

World Class Research Projects by Elite School of Optometry

The first batch of students of the Master of Optometry (M. Optom.), a two year program, completed their final defense on 18th and 19th of June 2021. The areas of their research work were diverse, including myopia, health economics, and diagnostics in retinal conditions: glaucoma, cerebral visual impairment, contact lenses, uveitis in tuberculosis and sports vision.

Experts from the fields were invited as external examiners for their final examination. Experts unanimously agreed that the students did excellent work amidst the grueling pandemic. Dr. Padmaja Sankaridurg from the Brien Holden Vision Institute and University of New South Wales, Dr Aparna Raghuram from the Harvard Medical School & Boston Children Hospital, Dr Ahalya Subramaniam from the City University of London, Dr Arun kumar from the Scheie University Pennsylvania, and Dr Abrez Hussain from the Vision Eye Institute, Australia, were the examiners. They appreciated the extensive research work of the students and guides, and ESO’s world class quality of research.

The details of the research projects are:

R. Aishwarya

Screening for cerebral visual impairment in children reporting to the pediatric ophthalmology

Akshaya C Balakrishnan

Vault-Aberration-Vision relationship in Boston Scleral Contact Lens

Amirthaa M

Near Induced Transient Myopia (NITM) parameters after reading with mobile phone compared to printed text among school children

Jannet Philip

Development Of A Tele Rehabilitation Model in children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI): A Pilot study

Karthika P

Structural and functional changes among diabetics with no diabetic retinopathy and mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy using Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography
and Photopic Negative Response


Swept- source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Analysis of Tubercular Serpiginous Like Choroiditis-A Prospective Study

Maanasi M

Assessing the features of Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy in Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography.

Mehal Prasanpal Rathore

Diagnostic ability of OCT Angiography and its application in the assessment of ocular blood flow in patients with Glaucoma and age-matched normal subjects in an Indian Sample

Robin S

Development and validation of KAP questionnaire among cricketers

Swetha S

Cost Analysis of Sankara Nethralaya School children Eye Examination Study (SN-SEES)


Elite school of Optometry in collaboration With SASTRA Deemed-to-be University offers Bachelor of Optometry, a four year undergraduate optometry degree program. The first batch of students from this degree program have completed their final exams and expected to graduate this year. Detailed evaluation components included performance for independent OPD cases, speciality clinics, diagnostic clinics, Viva voce and an all subject theory examination apart from the continuous assessments.

Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, students of this batch were appreciated for their efforts and preparation towards the exam and all the evaluators gave good feedback on their performance.

Speciality Clinics

OSPE – OSCE (Diagnostics Interpretation)


Sankara Nethralaya Conducts Blood Donation Campaign

Sankara Nethralaya conducted a Blood Donation Campaign on 16th August 2021, to mark India’s 75th Independence Day. The blood donation drive was conducted in association with Voluntary Health Services, Adyar. The drive was organized on the 3rd floor, Mahyco Block.

Our Blood Donation Campaign in association with VHS has been a long-standing tradition of service to the community. Sankara Nethralaya staff have always enthusiastically participated in the campaign and this year too, many donors came forward.

We convey our heartfelt appreciation to each one of the donors for setting aside time in your hectic schedule and donating blood for someone in need.

“Direction Regained” Ratan Sarder, a patient story from Sankara Nethralaya, Kolkata

Mr Ratan Sarder is a 54 year-old private security guard living in the slums of Kalinagar Sarder Para, Kolkata. He is the sole breadwinner, supporting a family of four on a meager monthly income of Rs. 6000/-. Since the past one year, Mr. Ratan had been experiencing poor vision in both eyes making it difficult to continue his job as a security guard.

Though he needed treatment for poor vision, he was unable to access any eye care due to his low income. He struggled to clearly see both near and distant objects, and it became challenge to continue with his job as a security guard, and to even move around.

He came to know from other beneficiaries that Sankara Nethralaya, Mukundapur hospital was conducting a free eye camp. Ratanji was elated that the camp also provided free food, lodging, medicine, and transported him from his home to the hospital and back again after surgery.

At the free eye camp, he was diagnosed as having significant cataract in both eyes and was advised for cataract surgery. The SN team brought Ratanji to the hospital one day before the surgery where he underwent a detailed eye examination, along with blood tests and a pre-operative checkup.

After his cataract surgery, and the first post-operative checkup he was returned to his home. One month after the surgery, he was given free glasses. Ratan is very happy that he has regained his vision with the support of the doctors and all the staff of Sankara Nethralaya, Kolkata, and is grateful for the free treatment that has enabled him to keep supporting his family.

In his own words – “Amar chokh chara ami puro dishehara hoye gechilam. Ami amar disha khuje pelam” (I was completely directionless without my vision. I have regained the direction of my life).

With your support, many more patients affected during the pandemic will regain their vision!

All donations to SN OM Trust are 100% IRS Tax Exempted in US, IRS Registered 501 (c) (3)

We seek your continued support as we progress in our battle against blindness.

UV Safety Awareness Highlights

UV safety awareness happens every year in the month of July, promoted by organizations including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs emphasizing the health impact of UV on body and eye. The campaign also works on educating people about effective and appropriate UV protection.

The Occupational Optometry Services of Sankara Nethralaya aimed to cater awareness to their employees and patients through interactive sessions, where they can participate and gain knowledge. To encourage their participation both employees and the public were rewarded, sponsored by Essilor, India #SeemoreDomore.

Employees from various departments / centers participated in the event. The fun filled learning contests was conducted for 3 weeks displaying the themes: Basics of UV, causes & effects and finally the protection from UV. Amidst the busy work life a total of 60 responses were received and creative posters were prepared by employees explaining the aspects of UV and protection against the effects. For awareness to patients, danglers with UV safety information were hanged on all the OPD areas.

The winners chosen by lucky draw were awarded with Photochromatics and Sun glasses sponsored by Essilor. All the participants were given a cap as symbol of UV protection.

Seeking Sri Maha Periyava’s Blessings with a Ganapathi Homam Performed at Sankara Nethralaya’s new centre at R. A. Puram

Seeking  His Holiness Jagadguru Maha Periyava’s’ blessings, a Ganapathi Homam was conducted at Sankara Nethralaya’s newest centre in R. A. Puram early on 12th July, 2021 between 4:30 am to 6:00am.

Mr Rajesh Bassi and Dr.Shikha Bassi, In Charge, Sankara Nethralaya R.A.Puram branch, and Deputy Director Neuro-Ophthalmology department took Sankalpam and performed the puja on behalf of Sankara Nethralaya family.

The puja was attended by Dr. Girish S. Rao, the President of Medical Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman and Director of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Dr. Sripriya Krishnamurthy, Director, Department of General Ophthalmology, Dr. Suganeswari Ganesan, Senior Consultant, Vitreoretina and Oncology services, Dr. V. V. Jaichandran, Anaesthetist, Dr. Sharanya Sarah Abraham, Associate Consultant, Department of Uvea, and Dr. Srivalli Kaza, Senior Consultant, Department of General Ophthalmology.

Mr. and Mrs. V. Sriram, who came forward to offer their house for SN’s mission, were also present.  We are grateful to the kind-hearted, service-oriented couple who are helping us to continue serving the community.

Spread out over 6,000 sqft, the new branch has a ‘state of art’ operation theatre (OT) equipped for advanced technology cataract surgery, and an Outpatient  setup equipped with a Humphrey Visual Field Analyser, YAG laser, orthoptics ,Contact lens department, optical outlet, Pharmacy and Laboratory service. Comprehensive eye care, with other speciality services like Glaucoma, Uvea, Squint and Paediatric ophthalmology, Oculoplasty, Neuro-ophthalmology and Medical Retina are offered at R.A Puram SN.The branch is an ambulatory care facility offering the same quality of service as our apex facility in a cosy setting to our patients closer to their homes.

Due to the prevailing pandemic situation, the Homam had only a small physical gathering while many joined on the Zoom platform.

Sankara Nethralaya Expands its Oncology Services by Collaborating with Apollo Hospitals Chennai

Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai is happy to announce its expansion of services in the field of eye cancers.  Delivering quality care at affordable rates has ever been the policy of Sankara Nethralaya (SN) since its inception.  Following the footsteps of its founder Dr. S. S. Badrinath and to strive for excellence in the field of ocular oncology, Sankara Nethralaya joined hands with Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.  This collaboration with Apollo Proton Cancer Centre will open the doors for a wide range of facilities to be made accessible to patients suffering from primary eye cancers or cancers involving other tissues with metastatic spread to the eye.  Ocular oncology team of Sankara Nethralaya and oncology team of Apollo hospitals will work together to offer a holistic approach for ocular conditions requiring a multidisciplinary approach and vice versa.

This historic moment began with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by Dr. Girish S. Rao, President of Medical Research Foundation on 1stJuly, 2021 with Mrs Preetha Reddy, the Executive Vice Chairperson of the Apollo Hospitals Group in the presence of  Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman, Director of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Dr. Ronnie George, President, Director of Research, Director of Glaucoma Services, Dr. Ambika S., Director of Neuro – Ophthalmology, Dr. Suganeswari Ganesan, Senior Consultant, Vitreoretina and oncology services, Mr Harshad Reddy, Director Apollo home care and Mr. Suresh Kumar P, General Manager (SN).

The Ocular Oncology Service of Sankara Nethralaya caters to both common and rare cancers.  With availability of cutting-edge imaging and treatment modalities, exploring newest treatment or techniques in advanced eye cancers will soon be a reality.

Special highlight of this MOU would be facilitation of multidisciplinary tumor board meetings.  Services offered to patients of Sankara Nethralaya would be at nominal rates and would cover PET CT, neurosurgical procedures, intra-arterial chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Apart from external beam radiation therapy, other novel radiation therapy called proton therapy is a specialised treatment, which tends to deliver focused radiation to the tumor itself with less radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.  This is a useful modality in the management of pediatric solid tumors with the least side effects.

Ocular oncologists from Sankara Nethralaya will also work with radiologists, radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons in a constant effort to save more human lives, preserve vision and globe salvage.

Sri Nathella Sampathu Chetty Clinical Laboratory Installation of DXH 560- Small And Mighty From Beckman Coulter

DxH 560

The compact 5 part differential autoloader Hematology Analyzer with effective clinical sensitivity, low sample volume (17µL), increased throughput has been successfully installed in Department of clinical Hematology and Clinical pathology.

DxH 800

This machine will be serving as a standby equipment for the existing higher version DxH 800 (with automated slide makes and stainer)

Dr.S.Vasanthi Badrinath (Lab Advisor, SNSC Clinical lab) did the honor of inaugurating the equipment on 8/7/21. This is the first equipment of its kind to be installed in Tamil Nadu at Sri Nathella Sampathu Chetty Clinical laboratory Medical Research Foundation.