Dr. Vasil MARINOV, ophthalmologist: Glaucoma is a "silent killer" of vision

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Dr. Vasil MARINOV, ophthalmologist: Glaucoma is a "silent killer" of vision
Dr. Vasil MARINOV, ophthalmologist: Glaucoma is a "silent killer" of vision

Dr. Vasil Marinov graduated from the Medical University - Plovdiv, holds the "Golden Hippocrates" award for excellent success in medicine. In 2009, he acquired a speci alty in ophthalmology. He is the chief assistant at the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University - Plovdiv

He attended various professional qualification courses both in Bulgaria and abroad. His research interests include pediatric ophthalmology, retinopathy of prematurity, cataracts and glaucoma. He also graduated from the English High School in Plovdiv and besides English, he is also fluent in written and spoken Russian.

Dr. Marinov, at what level is Bulgarian ophthalmology, can all private ophthalmology hospitals be trusted?

- Bulgarian ophthalmology is at a high enough level to compare with the leading European and world ophthalmology practices. Regarding trust, it is with the particular doctor, not with a particular hospital unit (be it public or private) and I believe that there are many worthy colleagues who fully deserve and justify the trust of their patients.

And? How many good ophthalmologists are there in Bulgaria? Are you satisfied with the pay, how many times better are you paid in England, let's say, and are you afraid that the front may be exposed in our country?

- There are good ophthalmologists in every country and Bulgaria is no exception. Pay is a painful issue for the entire medical establishment. It cannot be claimed that the Bulgarian doctor is well paid, and what we achieve is at the cost of a lot of work and time, from which we often deprive even our own families. I believe that there is work for everyone and I would work in Bulgaria in the future.

Where is the most progress, the most achievements?

- I will repeat myself, but there are good specialists in every country. Undoubtedly, the greatest progress in science and medicine is made where there is adequate funding for research projects and developments. That is, Western Europe and North America, but I dare to say that our Bulgarian colleagues are not inferior in terms of scientific knowledge and dexterity to ophthalmologists from the mentioned countries.

Then what are the biggest Bulgarian miracles in your field - not as discoveries, but as practice?

- It is a miracle that despite the difficulties we face in our daily lives, we have highly valued Bulgarian ophthalmologists all over the world. Otherwise, every satisfied and cured patient is a miracle.

Ophthalmological equipment is expensive, and the possibilities of hospitals are not very good, where do you find the intersection between specific needs and the given possibilities?

- Good ophthalmic practice requires investment in both technique and training. Anyone who wants to be at a high level pays the appropriate price. The investment in good equipment and trained personnel pays off quickly.

Is your pain too much? Or is the technique already such that your operations are kinder to patients?

- Physical pain has long been overcome with the help of anesthesia. There is a lot of pain when you have to tell a patient that he is suffering from an incurable disease or that he has to undergo a major operation with no guarantee of a favorable outcome, or when you see that nothing more can be done about a disease. This pain continues to be relentless.

How often is it good to check our vision, do some tests?

- At least annual examinations by an ophthalmologist are mandatory. If a person is prescribed optical correction or suffers from another eye disease, examinations should be every 6 or 3 months, as the case may be. A child must be examined by an ophthalmologist between the ages of 1 and 3, even if there is no visible problem!

What advice do you have for people who live with the computer? My golden rule, for example, in this case is that for every hour of work at the computer I give myself a 15-minute break

- In the 21st century it is the computer, in previous centuries - the book. The golden rules don't change. One eye rests when sleeping and when looking into the distance. Unfortunately, today's children are locked in their rooms in front of laptops, tablets, smartphones and so on, and even if they want to play outside, there is no room in big cities anymore.

Glaucoma is a scourge, it is difficult to recognize, but is it curable yet?

- Glaucoma is a broad group of diseases leading to irreversible blindness. The main goal here is the timely diagnosis and delay of the disease process, that is, regular follow-up by an ophthalmologist and preventive examinations.

Cataract, or as it is known "senile curtain", is the most common and widespread disease. Is surgery the only solution in this case?

- Cataract is a disease from which no one can escape. For some it appears earlier, for others - later. It is a clouding of the eye's own clear lens. The only treatment is surgery. Cataracts develop individually. Glaucoma remains a "silent killer" of sight.

It is a common human feeling to fear surgery, and when it comes to the eyes, even more so. What is the operation itself and what risks does it entail?

- It depends on what kind of operation it is. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in ophthalmology. The modern type of surgery is with local anesthesia and is completely bloodless and seamless. The patient's clouded lens is broken up into small particles using ultrasound and suctioned out, a soft artificial lens is inserted into the eye (so the patient can see), and all this is achieved through a minimal incision of about two millimeters that is self-closing. without sewing.

And does the He alth Insurance Fund cover the costs of the operations and what are the prices of the intraocular lenses that are placed in the eye?

- The National He alth Insurance Fund undertakes the surgical treatment. The patient pays for the implant that is placed in the eye (intraocular lens for cataract, various implants for glaucoma, silicone seals or gas, silicone oil for retinal detachment). This is the case in most countries of the world, as well as in most medical speci alties.

What is the possibility of a person parting with his glasses in the way of laser vision correction… Are these operations expensive?

- Modern man can rely on modern technology. Laser vision correction procedures are constantly being refined. Again, we rely on equipment and a specialist. In good hands, in the right patients, it's a great way to improve vision and lead a fulfilling life. I wouldn't call them cheap, but they are affordable.

Do you recommend any other aesthetic eye surgery? For example, something more common and popular - eyelid surgery for rejuvenation…

- Oh, this is another plus in the development of medicine. Today, everyone can be more and more beautiful for a longer and longer time, as they understand it. As long as you don't overdo it, because nature is above everything, isn't it?

Do you believe in iris diagnostics?

- Personally, I am not familiar with it and do not practice it. But I could not deny something, especially if it is not harmful to he alth.

Tell me a little personally about some exciting moments in your practice. Because being a doctor certainly means having a daily dose of emotion…

- It is exciting for me to see the positive result of my work in the eyes of the patient, to receive his smile, it gives me energy and faith that there is meaning in what I do.

Some undergo cataract surgery at the age of 40, while others after their 60s or do not have to at all. How so? And what would you advise us so that we can keep our vision perfect until old age?

- He alth is an individual thing. It depends on our lifestyle, our setup and, of course, the periodic check-ups that we all easily neglect.