Glaucoma Glaucoma, a potentially blinding disease has been one of the most common causes of blindness globally. It is a potentially blinding disease that affects 66 million persons worldwide According to WHO statistics, the prevalence of glaucoma in India is 2.6%. What’s more, 90% of these cases have never been diagnosed before.
There are about 11.2 million people aged 40 years or older in India who is afflicted with glaucoma that will become permanently blind without appropriate therapy. Another 28.1 million people have primary angle-closure glaucoma or are ocular hypertensive and primary angle closure suspects. Every eighth individual or nearly 40 million of the estimated 309 million populations aged 40 years or older in India either has glaucoma or is at risk of developing the disease. Numerous population-based studies detailing the prevalence of glaucoma and other eye diseases have been published, and they shed light on the magnitude of glaucoma in INDIA.
Glaucoma refers to a group of related eye disorders that all cause damage to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma usually has few or no initial symptoms. In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye — a condition called ocular hypertension. But it also can occur when intraocular pressure (IOP) is normal. If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and eventually can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide (behind cataracts).
Symptoms Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals vision. There are typically no early warning signs or painful symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.
The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition. For example:
If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Even with treatment, about 15 percent of people with glaucoma become blind in at least one eye within 20 years.
Who Is at Risk for Glaucoma? Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others.
Some people are at greater risk for developing glaucoma and should see their ophthalmologist on a regular basis, specifically for glaucoma testing.
The following are groups at higher risk for developing glaucoma:
Talk with an ophthalmologist about your risk for getting glaucoma. People with more than one of these risk factors have an even higher risk of glaucoma.
Early Detection can Prevent From GLAUCOMA:
People of any age with glaucoma symptoms or glaucoma risk factors, such as those with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, or those of African descent, should see an ophthalmologist for an exam. Your ophthalmologist will let you know how often to return for follow-up exams.
Adults with no symptoms of or risk factors for eye disease should have a complete eye disease screening by age 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to happen. Based on the results of the initial screening, your ophthalmologist will let you know how often to return for follow-up exams.
Adults 65 or older should have an eye exam every one to two years, or as recommended by your ophthalmologist.
People of Asian descent and those with hyperopia (farsightedness) tend to be more at risk for narrow-angle glaucoma (also known as angle-closure glaucoma or closed-angle glaucoma).
Four Key Facts about Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a very misunderstood disease. Often, people don’t realize the severity or who is affected.
1. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness
Glaucoma can cause blindness if it is left untreated. And unfortunately approximately 10% of people with glaucoma who receive proper treatment still experience loss of vision.
2. There is no cure (yet) for glaucoma
Glaucoma is not curable, and vision lost cannot be regained. With medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss of vision. Since open-angle glaucoma is a chronic condition, it must be monitored for life. Diagnosis is the first step to preserving your vision.
3. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma from babies to senior citizens. Older people are at a higher risk for glaucoma but babies can be born with glaucoma.
4. There may be no symptoms to warn you
With open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, there are virtually no symptoms. Usually, no pain is associated with increased eye pressure. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision. You may compensate for this unconsciously by turning your head to the side, and may not notice anything until significant vision is lost. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get tested. If you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.