Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve, normally associated with a buildup of pressure in the eye. It is a painless eye disease and most importantly, irreversible unlike other eye conditions.
It is now reported that Ghana has the 2nd highest cases of Glaucoma in the world.
So let’s educate ourselves and tackle a few important things about this “silent thief of sight”.
The risk factors of glaucoma are as follows:
- RACE – Unfortunately, if you are black, your chances of getting glaucoma are very high and for unknown reasons still being researched.
- FAMILY HISTORY – If there is any history of glaucoma in your immediate or extended family, your chances of getting glaucoma are high as it is hereditary in most cases.
- AGE – if you are 35 and above, your chances of getting glaucoma are also high even though we have what is known as Juvenile Glaucoma which we will tell you more about later in this article.
- MYOPIA – if you are myopic in vision, meaning that you can see clearly afar but have difficulty with near vision and wear a minus (-) prescription, your chances of getting glaucoma are high.
- EYE PRESSURE – if your eye pressure is high and continues to remain high, your chances of getting glaucoma are also high.
Glaucoma in its initial stages affects the peripheral vision (vision at the corners of each eye) and travels gradually to the center of the eye. Due to this, in most cases, it is not detected early as vision is not significantly impaired.
So what can we do to detect glaucoma and prevent blindness as a result?
Given the above we recommend that you get regular eye exams every 12-24 months. If you’re under 35, it is now recommended that a comprehensive eye test to include the checking of eye pressure and funduscopy be done every 18-24 months. If you are above 35, it is now recommended, given our current trends and use of various mediums of technology that you check your eye every 12-18 months by getting a comprehensive exam to include the checking of your eye pressure and funduscopy.
Please remember to ask the doctor (optometrist/ophthalmologist) to explain all the results of your eye test to you if not readily done. Ask for the results of the eye pressure and the back of the eye as well.
As mentioned before, there is also what we call JUVENILLE GLAUCOMA which occurs in some persons between the ages of 4-35 for reasons unknown and still under research.
It is therefore imperative that you ensure routine eye exams for your children every 18-24months especially between the ages of 4-35.
Even though this disease is irreversible, there is good news! GLAUCOMA when detected early can be managed well with medication and/or surgery. This also in most cases eliminates the possibility of blindness. Early detection is therefore critical to the management of this disease.
For more information on this and any other eye related defects, you may contact Robert & Sons Ltd, Optical Services via phone or email at email@example.com/054-799-3647. You may also visit our website for more information on eye defects at www.robertandsonsoptical.com.
Please help spread the word about this “SILENT THIEF OF SIGHT – GLAUCOMA” and remember to get a comprehensive eye exam as often as recommended above or by your optician.