Health Care

Keeping an eye out for glaucoma

Keeping an eye out for glaucoma”

Glaucoma is one of the most challenging eye diseases for both doctors and patients in most parts of the world including Ghana.

It estimates that the condition may affect 3.2million in the United Kingdom in 2050, but unless detection rates are improved, only 1.28million will have been diagnosed and be receiving the treatments they urgently need.

Glaucoma is known as the leading cause of irreversible blindness against which an immediate action is imperative and has no symptoms at the initial stages.

Ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialists listed out five risk factors and suggested people to undergo regular check-up every one or two years to know if they have the disease.The risk factors include-family history of glaucoma, blunt injury to eye, hypothyroidism or hypertension, prolonged use of medicines containing steroids, diabetes and constant change in eye sight.

Marking this year's global week-long event created to raise awareness of glaucoma, members of the South Korean society dedicated to the group of eye diseases will wear a special badge that reads "What to know about glaucoma" and encourage patients to show interest and ask questions. That is the stage people usually reach for medication. Losing vision from sides at first, it progresses to a tunnel vision. Most medical care institutions run week-long programmes on awareness. The lost vision can not be recovered, he added. So instead of going to an optometrist, who would be able to provide only reading glasses, it is best to visit an ophthalmologist, said K. Girija, consultant at Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly.

Among the types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma, which accounts for almost 80 percent of the cases, is thought to be more risky than closed angle glaucoma. Earlier, high pressure on optic nerve was thought to be primary reason for the disease. Meanwhile, specialists say that the disease can not be detected until complete examination is conducted.

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