HYDERABAD: The ‘Glaucoma Awareness Walk’ organised by L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) as part of the World Glaucoma Week (March 11- 17) built awareness on this ‘silent’ eye condition. Dr G Chandra Sekhar said, pressure in the eye nerve is the cause of this disease and can afflict a person of any age, including just born. “The only way out is complete comprehensive eye check-up, to identify this disease. Awareness and early diagnosis is key to prevent irreversible blindness this disease can afflict,” he informed.
Dr Siddharth Dikshit said, “90% of those with glaucoma aren’t aware of they being victims of the disease. If they come early we can save the vision. Everyone above 40 have to regularly get a check-up done for glaucoma and it is mandatory for those with a family history. Using unmonitored steroids for eye can also lead to glaucoma, therefore steroids have to be used under the supervision of ophthalmologist,” he shares.
The focus this year is on ‘Childhood and Glaucoma.’ Childhood glaucoma affects more than 300,000 children across the world and 2/3 of these children are already blind with ¾ of them living in developing countries. The high prevalence rate of primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) in the developing world is due to higher parental consanguinity in some communities. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for most childhood glaucomas, especially the congenital type.
Glaucoma can be treated. If it is detected early, the eye specialist can help preserve the remaining vision and prevent the patient from going blind. But even though 80% of blindness from glaucoma is preventable, almost 7 million people worldwide turn blind due to glaucoma, with 2/3rd of them being women. This is because a whopping 90% of glaucoma cases go undetected, presumably due to a lack of awareness. Also, first Degree Relatives (FDRs) of Glaucoma patients have a ten-fold increase in life-long glaucoma risk. It is important that the entire family of a glaucoma patient undergo a detailed eye examination by an specialist to rule out glaucoma.