'Periodic eye checks essential to detect early signs of glaucoma'

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 14, 2017

The week starting March 12 to March 18 is being observed as World Glaucoma Week this year.

Glaucoma, also referred to as the 'Silent Thief of Sight,' causes permanent and irreversible loss of sight. It is related to pressure in the eye resulting in damage to the optic nerve.

Emphasising the importance of getting the eye periodically checked as the early signs are difficult to detect as it is a symptomless disease and the rate of worsening of the disease not known, Ganesh Venkataraman, Chief Associate Professor, Glaucoma Clinic, Aravind Eye Hospital and PG Institute of Ophthalmology, Coimbatore said “the disease process is irreversible.”

Highlighting the risk factors associated with glaucoma, the ophthalmologist said “individuals are more prone to the disease if there is a history of glaucoma in the family due to frequent change of glasses, use of steroid medication such as inhalers, nasal sprays, tablets or eye drops, diabetes mellitus and extreme high refractive errors to cite a few.”

Further, just checking vision cannot rule out glaucoma. An examination should be performed using the 'slit lamp' machine, followed by an eye pressure check and examination of the optic nerve.

Available treatment options are individualised for each patient. It is, therefore, important to discuss the same with the treating specialist, he said, adding that approximately 2 to 4 per cent of the population reportedly suffers from glaucoma.

Published on March 14, 2017
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