Glaucoma, the second largest cause of blindness after cataract, is taking a heavy toll on the population, thanks to lack of awareness about the disease.
Called the silent thief of sight, Glaucoma is more disastrous as the blindness caused by it is irreversible unlike cataract. It has no early symptoms and thus goes undetected till the advanced stages when the afflicted person experiences sharp loss of vision.
It is estimated that currently there are more than 70 million people afflicted with Glaucoma in the world and is billed to touch 80 million by 2020. In India, though there is no data on prevalence rate, it is estimated that more than 12 million people are suffering from the disease. By 2020, the number is likely to go up to 16 million.
The JPM Rotary Club of Cuttack Eye Hospital and Research Institute has started a programme on generating awareness on the disease among the people.
Early detection is the key as the disease can be treated to prevent irreversible blindness.
The Glaucoma awareness programme to mark the World Glaucoma Week from March 10-16 was kicked off by actor Bijay Mohanty at the hospital on Wednesday. More than 100 glaucoma evaluations were done and free medicines provided to the patients.
The main aim of the programme is to educate people on assessing their risk for glaucoma and the importance of regular eye examinations, chief medical officer Santosh Kumar Mahapatra said.
President of Managing Committee, Surya Prasad Mishra; Chairman, Rotary Club of Cuttack Charitable Trust Dr Subasini Lenka; members Dr. Raghubir Das, Prabhat Kumar Mishra and Pruthviraj Choudhury were present.