There is an imperative need to educate people on the bane of glaucoma, said glaucoma specialist in L.V. Prasad Eye Institute Pradeep Reddy.

Speaking after flagging off a ‘Glaucoma Walk’ organised to mark the launch of World Glaucoma Awareness Week from March 9 to March 15, Dr. Reddy said glaucoma was a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight.

“Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness,” he said, adding that as many as six crore people across the world were afflicted with this ailment in 2013, while 75 lakh people lost their eye sight. In India alone, 1.10 crore people are afflicted by it and nearly 15 lakh people had lost sight.

He said it develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.

Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision was of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision was maintained until late in the disease, he said, adding that by the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible with treatment, even with surgery, he warned.

Dr. Reddy said as part of the week-long awareness drive, L.P. Prasad Eye Institute at Tadigadapa would host a ‘Public Forum’ to clear doubts in the minds of the public about this ailment.

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