March 14, 2022
Coimbatore – Glaucoma is often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’, where a raised eye pressure damages the optic nerve of the eye and may lead to permanent loss of vision. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness and according to WHO statistics, prevalence of glaucoma in India is 2.6%. Among this glaucoma population, only 7% of them are aware that they have glaucoma and are on treatment, whereas the rest 93% were un-aware about the presence of glaucoma. To raise awareness in the society, world glaucoma congress observes 2nd week of March every year as “World Glaucoma Week”. The World is Bright, save your sight.
To commemorate “World Glaucoma Week” Coimbatore Society of Ophthalmic Surgeons (CSOS) and Coimbatore chapter of Indian Medical Association have conducted a glaucoma awareness rally on 13th March, 2022 (Sunday) with the help of RVS College of Nursing and Sri Ramakrishna Hospital. The rally was flagged off by Dr. Innayath Kabir, MD, Hospital Administration (AIIMS) and Commanding Officer, 6th Airforce Hospital, Coimbatore, in the presence of CSOS, President, Dr. Rodney, Secretary Dr. Rajesh Prabu, Treasurer, Dr. J Saravanan and IMA President Dr. Sathian, Secretary Dr. K. S. Maheshwaran, Treasurer Dr. Sreeramalingam and senior members from CSOS & IMA Coimbatore.
A normal healthy eye produces a fluid, called aqueous humor, at the same rate at which it drains. When there is an imbalance, the pressure inside the eye raises, which in-turn causes pressure on optic nerve(vision nerve) leading to permanent damage and loss of vision.
Today’s glaucoma awareness rally was organized to emphasis public about having a regular and a comprehensive eye checkup, which is the only way to sight signs of glaucoma early and control it in time. People over the age of 40 years, those suffering from diabetes, migraine, who frequently change their spectacles, who have high minus power lenses, use steroids too often and most importantly those who have a family history of glaucoma, are generally at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. A comprehensive eye test includes a vision check, a slit lamp examination, an IOP (Intraocular pressure) check and optic disc evaluation. This will ensure an early detection and treatment of glaucoma, thereby preventing irreversible loss of vision.
Society also emphasized that, the treatment of glaucoma with eye-drops, laser or with surgery is not to bring back or revert lost nerve or vision but only to reduce eye pressure and preserve the existing nerve and vision. It is important for patients to use medication as prescribed and have a regular glaucoma evaluation with a glaucoma consultant throughout their life.