Dr Amit Solanki
Dr Amit Solanki

Indore: Before the conclusion of World Glaucoma Week on Saturday, observed from March 7-13, ophthalmologists stressed on the need to undertake regular testing so as to prevent the eyesight snatching disease.

“Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which is estimated to affect 79.6 million people worldwide and, if left untreated, causes irreversible damage,” ophthalmologist Dr Amit Solanki said in a free webinar organised on Friday.

He added that it is not a rare disease. “Glaucoma is the number one cause of irreversible blindness. One in 4 people over the age of 40 years either have glaucoma or are at the risk of developing glaucoma,” Solanki said.

He added that based on the results of the population-based studies conducted in different parts of India till now, the estimated number of people with glaucoma in India is 11.2 million. “The number of people who lost their sight due to glaucoma in India is 1.1 million,” Solanki said.

Quoting the importance of early detection, he added that estimates across the world report that close to 50% of the subjects with glaucoma in the developed world and close to 90% in the developing world like India remain undetected. “If glaucoma is detected early, then vision loss can be avoided, or delayed. It is extremely important to have complete eye examinations regularly,” Solanki said.

He explained two main types of Glaucoma:

· Open-angle glaucoma

· Angle-closure glaucoma

Glaucoma Symptoms

Most people with open-angle glaucoma don’t have symptoms. If symptoms do develop, it’s usually late in the disease. That’s why glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of vision." The main sign is usually a loss of side, or peripheral, vision.

Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma usually come on faster and are more obvious. Damage can happen quickly. If you have any of these symptoms, get medical care right away:

* Seeing halos around lights

* Vision loss

* Redness in your eye

* Eye pain

* Severe Headache

* Nausea & Vomiting

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