The World Glaucoma Week is celebrated every year in the month of March with a view to increase awareness on this eye health issue, which is otherwise referred to as Blue Water Disease. The week also aims at creating awareness about the international increase in the number of individuals getting affected with this disease as compared to the increase in the population. This disease is stated to be the important contributor towards blindness from around many countries in the world and reports state that in the year 2016, the number of patients with this disease was 60.5 million and this number is expected to reach 79.6 million patients by the year 2020.
Aim of the event:
Last year International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in co-ordination with the World Health Organization organized an event in a move towards setting plans and programs required for prevention of blindness that can be avoided before the year 2020. In the year 2016, many events are planned to be held around the world. When it comes to India, the following programs are planned to be held during March 8th to 14th 2016 and here is the list of events:
- Poster Competition on Glaucoma – Cochin (1st to 6th March 2016) at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
- Glaucoma Awareness Rally and Screening Camp, Coimbatore (6th March 2016) at Eye Trust Hospital
- Glaucoma Awareness Ride by Hyderabad Royals Bullet Club in association with L V Prasad Eye Institute – Hyderabad, India from 6th to 8th March at Banjara Hills
- Walkathon – Cochin, India on 6th March 2016 at Durbar Hall Ground, Ernakulam
- Glaucoma Awareness Program – Cochin, India from 6th to 12th March 2016 at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
- THE 'BIG' CAMPAIGN – Mumbai, India - from 7th March to 13th March 2016 at Malad
- Free Glaucoma Screening Programme – Cochin, India from 8th to 12th March 2016 at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
At this juncture, it becomes important to get a clear understanding about Glaucoma and its symptoms.
What is Glaucoma?
This is a complicated disease, wherein the damage of the optic nerve leads to progressive and irreversible loss of vision. This is stated to be the leading cause for vision loss from around the world. It is a condition that is often associated with building of pressure within the eyes.
Types of Glaucoma:
This condition is classified into two types and they are:
- The first type is called open angle glaucoma and it is otherwise called as wide-angle glaucoma. This is a condition, wherein the structure of eyes appears to be normal, but there will not be the right flow of fluid in the eyes through the trabecular meshwork.
- The second type is known as angle-closure glaucoma and it is otherwise called as narrow-angle glaucoma. It is a common problem in the west as compared to eastern part of the world. Poor drainage occurs due to the angle between the iris and the cornea is very narrow and is physically blocked by the iris. This leads to sudden pressure build up in the eyes.
At this juncture, it would be wise to be aware of glaucoma symptoms. But, the fact is that there are no visible symptoms of this condition. The initial symptom is generally the loss of side vision or loss of peripheral. But, these symptoms can go unnoticed until late in the disease. This is why this condition is often referred to as sneak thief of vision. This is why it is recommended that every individual of more than 40 years of age should get their vision tested from an eye specialist at least once in a year or once in two years. However, it is better to get examined in the case of following symptoms:
- Narrowing of vision
- Pain in the eyes
- Vomiting or nausea
- Hazy eyes, particularly in kids
- Eye redness
- Vision loss
- Seeing halos around lights
When it comes to glaucoma treatment, there are different options available like:
- Eye drops
- Laser surgery
So, on this World Glaucoma Week, let us keep ourselves aware of the details mentioned above and protect ourselves from vision loss.