Dont turn blind eye towards glaucoma

Defect, unlike cataract, can be detected only by a comprehensive eye exam done by trained eye specialist
Chennai: Glaucoma, known as ‘the silent thief of sight’, creeps upon people with not many being aware of the possibility of losing their vision to it. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that affects 66 million persons worldwide and is the second leading cause of blindness, after cataract. Most of those afflicted with it do not realise its lurking presence as there are no symptoms in the early stages.
“Glaucoma, unlike cataract, can be detected only by a comprehensive eye exam, performed by a trained eye specialist,” says Dr Ronnie George, Sankara Nethralaya. With World Glaucoma Awareness Week set to begin on March 8, the members of the Glaucoma Society of India and Chennai Glaucoma Foundation have planned a massive awareness campaign and mega screening camp.
The events to mark the occasion in the city will also have specialists from M.N. Eye Hospitals and Sankara Nethralaya participating.
Blindness due to glaucoma is irreversible. The disease goes undetected in most of those who have it and there exist major challenges in detecting and treating it, Dr. Ronnie says.
The condition affects the optic nerve, the patient presenting with no symptoms in the early to moderate stages of the disease. Vision loss occurs in the later stages, which is irreversible. Regular eye checks and awareness alone can help diagnose it.
“Resorting to surgery or correcting vision does not yield results. One can only control the disease,” according to Dr. Murali Ariga, Chennai coordinator of the Glaucoma Society of India.
( Source : dc correspondent )
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