Talk with ophthalmologist José Luis Munoa

1987/06/01 Aizpurua Sarasola, Joxerra Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The eyes can be green, blue, dark… but their function is to see them. We turned to ophthalmologist José Luis Munoa to see the future clearer. In his office there was little light, but the words flowing through his mouth carried the necessary light.

The eyes can be green, blue, dark… but their function is to see them. In today's society, maintaining a good level of vision for accidents and diseases is not easy. Therefore, we often have to resort to ophthalmologists. We also go to one to see more clearly the future of ophthalmology, specifically José Luis Munoa. In his office it was very unclear, but immediately we understood the reason for this, because the words flowing through his mouth carried the necessary light.

Elh. : What can you say about the evolution of ophthalmology both in the world and in the Basque Country?

World: The evolution of ophthalmology coincides with the evolution of technology in the last 20 years. As the eye is the only organ in the body for immediate exploration, all applications of progress technologies can be monitored continuously. Thus, many medical studies have focused on ophthalmology. The experience gained in this field has made it possible to apply new techniques in other areas of medicine. That is what has happened, for example, with the laser; although in traumatology and dermatology the laser has already begun to use, in ophthalmology we have been working on it for 20 years.

On the other hand, the evolution of technology is so fast that the evolution of ophthalmology has become very difficult and complex. In Spain ophthalmology has always had a high level. Among them is the school founded by Cajal. This gave the first scientific touch to the studies carried out in it. However, the area of ophthalmology has shifted over time, that is, nations that have experienced technological advancement have reached the highest level of ophthalmology. Therefore, French ophthalmology, which so far had not too much strength, has become a superior ophthalmology.

Technology in Spain has not had the push of other nations, so ophthalmology has had to go from the hands of other advanced nations. In the Basque Country, in addition, health investments in this field have not been sufficient and if a good level has been maintained they have been for personal efforts. At the Northern Ophthalmological Association we met several ophthalmologists from the area and at the two meetings we hold each year we moved our views on this issue. It should be noted that the Basque Government has set up an eyeball transplant coordinator.

In this sense, I must mention that on 5 and 6 June last year we organized the first course of surgery and that in it we produced a film. This film has been used in different hospitals and universities and it can be said that we also contribute something to the world of ophthalmology.

Elh. : In the field of new technologies, ultrasound is fashionable. What can you say about this?

World: Through our ultrasound machine, clinical diagnostics in eyeball are immediate. This system has no radiation problems. There are no side effects, for example, and it is also very useful. There is another device that provides us with the physical properties of the eyeball. This device is normally located within a computer system, so that not only the diagnostics, but also we can know immediately which lens should be placed in each case.

PaP: And what is the degree of reliability?

World: Reliability 90-95%, error lower than a diopter. In the case of cataracts, for example, the diagnosis is made through these devices and is explained at the time of operating the most serious problem, the technological. Surgical techniques are so complicated that the recycling we had to do has been huge. However, it is impossible to assimilate all new techniques with the same level of competence. Therefore, specialization is increasingly important.

Elh. : Where has it been socially primed?

World: On the one hand, post-cut seasons have declined and at the same time are more comfortable. No special surveillance is required and the patient can return to work within a few days. On the other hand, the restorative or amputating philosophy is disappearing and it is opening way to a functional philosophy, that is, it is not only a question of healing the evil to the person, but of leaving him in the best conditions.

Elh. : What can you say about radial keratotomy and myopia repair section, which produces judgments both for and against?

World: If radial keratotomy is controversial, it is because there may be a potential long-term risk. The risk is only speculation. With this we mean that, since keratotomy is a very new technique, it has not been enough time to affirm its advantages, that is, the historical perspective is very short for any opinion. And this not only happens in Euskal Herria, but throughout the world.

Therefore, on the one hand, people have hope in such techniques, but on the other hand, all new techniques generate that concern. In addition, this technique of myopia correction is not only applied for aesthetic purposes, but also for physical purposes, that is, since in many occasions the requirement of the degree of vision for certain jobs is high, surgical techniques are quite ambitious.

Elh. Thank you.