With incidence of glaucoma increasing, doctors and institutions are concentrating on public awareness on the disorder.

As part of the World Glaucoma Week and to maximise the community involvement, some of the institutions roped in schoolchildren to participate in rallies and some eye care centres organised awareness campaigns in the city.

The main object is to educate people on the eye disorder that leads to irreversible loss of vision due to progressive damage to the optic or retinal nerve, said Santosh Kumar Patro of Allergan India Pvt Ltd. “It is considered to be the second common cause of blindness worldwide. Periodical check up would help in preventing the complications,” he explained while taking part in a rally recently.

People who are above 40 years of age, those who suffer from diabetes mellitus and who have a family history of glaucoma, myopia apart from long term usage of steroids are at high risk, said ophthalmic surgeon A.V.N. Chetty. “Most of the patients do not realise until they become partially or completely blind. But in some cases, poor vision, redness in the eye, acute pain and blurred vision will crop up.

"Once glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment should be continued for lifetime,” he said.

Though the blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible, ophthalmologists say that early detection would help in treating the disease with anti-glaucoma eye-drops, optical coherence tomography, laser treatments or surgeries depending on the severity of the patient.

In some cases, glaucoma is completely asymptomatic and can be found out only by ophthalmologists, said Sankar Foundation Eye Hospital head of anterior segment T. Raveendra.

“The World Glaucoma Week aims at bridging the gap between science and society by educating people on the dreadful disease.

To address people, Sankar Foundation has organised a weeklong awareness campaign that included video conferencing,” he added.

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