Ophthalmologists in the city advise regular eye check-up to rule out loss of sight due to glaucoma.

As part of World Glaucoma Week that concluded recently, eye clinics organised awareness programmes to spread the message that glaucoma is controllable if detected early.

“Glaucoma is the second common cause of blindness, next only to cataract. In glaucoma patients, sight cannot be restored, as the optic nerve is damaged irreversibly. Usually treatment is in the form of eye drops. Laser treatment is offered for some types of glaucoma and surgery for some advanced, uncontrolled cases,” said Murali Ariga, treasurer of Glaucoma Society of India. The condition is hereditary and conditions such as myopia or diabetes could hasten glaucoma. Persons using steroid medication for other problems, or complaints or redness and watering from the eyes, could also be due to glaucoma, says Mohan Rajan of Rajan Eye Care Hospital.

K. Vasantha, Deputy Superintendent at Government Eye Hospital said, “Often patients mistake glaucoma for cataract. They come when they have lost 90% of the sight. With regular follow up we can control intraocular pressure and prevent further damage,” she said. Though World Glaucoma Day is observed every year on March 12, ophthalmologists dedicate a week to raise awareness through free eye camps, Dr. Ariga said.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012

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