HYDERABAD: LV Prasad Eye Institute has lined-up a series of programmes and activities to mark Glaucoma Awareness Week between March 8 and 14.
Introducing the campaign titled ‘Beat Invisible Glaucoma,’ Dr Sirisha Senthil, head of Glaucoma Service, LVPEI, say that glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, continues to go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness.
“The dangerous thing about the disease is that there are no visible symptoms. It can be diagnosed only when a person gets checked with an ophthalmologist. The only way one can notice it is when they experience a gradual decrease in their vision,” she said, further adding, “the frightening part is, once diagnosed, it is absolutely impossible to bring back the lost vision and all we can do is to retain whatever is remaining.” Speaking further, she stressed the disease has reached an alarming proportions due to lack of awareness in the country. “We see a lot of people complaining about losing sight at old age. However, it is not because of old age but due to glaucoma that people lose sight. Ninety percent of glaucoma in the country is undetected, mostly due to lack of awareness. As of today, there are 11.2 million Indians suffering from glaucoma of which 1.1 million are blind, including children,” she said.
She also spoke in detail about the steroid- induced glaucoma, the disease that occurs due to using non-prescribed eye drops. “In most of the cases, the victims use drops due to burning and itching sensation in eyes without consulting a doctor. This leads loss of vision in some cases,” she added.
Some of the activities of the campaign includes an awareness walk from Prasad Labs to Jubilee check-post on March 8 after which, there will be and ophthalmologists meet and a patient Education Forum on March 12 at Kallam Anji Reddy Campus, Banjara Hills.