World Glaucoma Week (12 – 18 March 2017)

1. Glaucoma is an eye disease that can result in gradual loss of           vision and blindness if not treated.
2. It occurs as a result of pressure in the eye that is too high for the nerve of the eye to work properly.

3. Any sight lost due to glaucoma cannot be restored with treatment.
4. Therefore, it is best to know early and treat on time to prevent blindness.
5. As one eye is affected faster than the other, make a good habit to check eye sight by covering one eye with hand and look through with other eye to see if there’s a difference in vision between the 2 eyes. See your doctor immediately if you notice a difference.
6. The chance of having glaucoma is higher in people who have mother/father/brother/sister/child with glaucoma.
7. It is more common with older people from 40 years.
8. A regular eye examination from age 40 years (e.g. every 1 year for people without family history and every 6 months if you a family history of glaucoma) can help to detect glaucoma earlier in many people.
9. When checking for reading glasses, ask for a glaucoma eye test.
10. When renewing drivers license, have an eye test to check your eye sight and for glaucoma and other eye diseases.
11. If doctors think you have glaucoma, they will check your vision, eye pressure, field of vision and the back of the eye to check the nerve of vision.
12. There are 3 treatment options; you will decide your option after discussing with your doctor. The options include use of eye drops, surgery or laser treatment.
13. The AIM of treatment is to lower the eye pressure and preserve vision by preventing further loss of vision.
NB. Symptoms occur much later in the disease and it has nothing to do with your need for glasses; because it affects your “side” vision. You may not know you have the disease because you could still see things in front of you clearly at early stage of the disease. Check yourself today for the silent/sneak thief of sight….. Lets “Beat Invisible Glaucoma”…. It is Free Eye Screening in most eye clinics this week. Please avail yourself of the opportunity and get screened.
Symptoms: Most people have no complains??? Why?? Because it affects your side vision which is often overlooked. Others may complain about redness(not all red eyes have Apollo),pain, seeing coloured circles when looking at bulbs or even loss of vision in one eye noticed only when one eye is occluded.
Important: About 60% of cases have a positive family history so please go for regular eye checks particularly if you have a family history of glaucoma, blindness, ocular surgery, and are above the age of 40years. Please note glaucoma can occur in people with no family history.
If diagnosed in the past remember glaucoma is the commonest cause of irreversible blindness, and treatment is for life. South Eastern Nigeria is the worst hit when it comes to glaucoma.  
Check your eyes today.
Feel free to ask questions.
Dr F. U. Anyika

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon 

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